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Telephone Pools and Economic Incentives


  • Lehman, Dale E
  • Weisman, Dennis L


We identify the incentive structure for a firm that participates in a pooling arrangement. These pooling arrangements have been common in the telecommunications industry, both in the United States and in Canada. We identify alternative mechanisms, including cost caps, yardstick competition, transfer prices, and fixed revenue allocators. A pooling firm has inferior incentives for cost reducing innovation, truthful reporting of costs, and avoidance of abuse relative to alternative mechanisms. These incentive problems are similar to those that arise under rate-of-return regulation. Notably, transfer/access pricing, does not rectify the poor incentives embodied in pools. However, pooling does facilitate demand enhancement, due to its ability to internalize potential network effects. Copyright 1996 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Lehman, Dale E & Weisman, Dennis L, 1996. "Telephone Pools and Economic Incentives," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 123-146, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:10:y:1996:i:2:p:123-46

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    Cited by:

    1. Mussell, Al, 2003. "PRICE DISCOVERY MECHANISMS AND ALTERNATIVES FOR CANADIAN AGRICULTURE; Part II: A Review of Pricing Mechanisms from the Economic Literature," Miscellaneous Publications 18100, George Morris Center.
    2. Vogelsang, Ingo, 2000. "Regulation of Access to the Telecommunications Network of New Zealand: A Review of the Literature," Working Paper Series 3931, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    3. Glass, Victor & Stefanova, Stela & Sysuyev, Roman, 2013. "Pooling, a missing element in the rate of return and price cap regulation debate: A comparison of alternative regulatory regimes," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 1-17.
    4. Ingo Vogelsang, 2003. "Price Regulation of Access to Telecommunications Networks," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(3), pages 830-862, September.

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