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Railroad Deregulation and Consumer Welfare

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  • Ellig, Jerry

Abstract

Railroad deregulation under the Staggers Act of 1980 generated rate reductions, service enhancements, and other improvements in economic welfare. These benefits appear to be widely shared. There is a low likelihood that some captive shippers pay rates that exceed the rates they would have paid under regulation, some evidence that some captive shippers have paid rates that regulators would judge "unreasonable," and strong evidence that captive shippers pay higher rates than non-captive shippers. The source of deregulation's benefits is as noteworthy as their size and distribution. The principal benefits of railroad deregulation stem from cost reduction, not just a closer alignment of prices with pre-deregulation cost levels. Copyright 2002 by Kluwer Academic Publishers

Suggested Citation

  • Ellig, Jerry, 2002. "Railroad Deregulation and Consumer Welfare," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 143-167, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:21:y:2002:i:2:p:143-67
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kenneth D. Boyer, 2016. "Three Principles for Optimal Pricing of Trackage Rights," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(2), pages 347-369, September.
    2. John Bitzan & Theodore Keeler, 2014. "The evolution of U.S. rail freight pricing in the post-deregulation era: revenues versus marginal costs for five commodity types," Transportation, Springer, vol. 41(2), pages 305-324, March.
    3. Kristen Monaco & Taggert J. Brooks & John Bitzan, 2006. "A time series analysis of wages in deregulated industries: A study of motor carriage and rail," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 9, pages 105-118, May.
    4. Russell Pittman, 2010. "Against the stand-alone-cost test in U.S. freight rail regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 313-326, December.
    5. Jerry Ellig & Patrick A. McLaughlin, 2016. "The Regulatory Determinants of Railroad Safety," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 49(2), pages 371-398, September.
    6. Nancy L. Rose, 2014. "Learning from the Past: Insights for the Regulation of Economic Activity," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Regulation and Its Reform: What Have We Learned?, pages 1-23 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Coublucq, Daniel, 2013. "Econometric analysis of productivity with measurement error: Empirical application to the US Railroad industry," DICE Discussion Papers 95, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    8. Rowangould, Gregory, 2013. "Public financing of private freight rail infrastructure to reduce highway congestion: A case study of public policy and decision making in the United States," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 25-36.
    9. Bitzan, John D & Keeler, Theodore E, 2007. "Economies of Density and Regulatory Change in the U.S. Railroad Freight Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 157-179, February.
    10. Hughes, Jonathan E., 2011. "The higher price of cleaner fuels: Market power in the rail transport of fuel ethanol," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 123-139, September.

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