Does Ownership or Competition Matter? The Effects of Telecommunications Reform on Network Expansion and Efficiency
I use newly released data from the International Telecommunications Union to examine the effects of privatization and competition on network expansion and efficiency. Using a fixed-effects model, I find that during the 1986-1995 time period, those countries that have at least fifty percent of the assets of their main telecommunications provider in the private sector have significantly higher main lines per 100 inhabitants and, to a lesser degree, have higher growth in main lines per 100 inhabitants. There is no evidence, however, that privatization leads to higher growth in main lines per 100 inhabitants in those countries whose GDP per capita is less than $10,000. Privatization is positively associated with main lines per employee and growth in main lines per employee. While competition is not found to affect network expansion, it is found to positively affect efficiency as measured in main lines per employee. In order to account for the possible endogeneity of the privatization and competition dummy variables, all equations are estimated using an instrumental variable approach as well. Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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