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Deregulating Network Industries: Dealing with Price-quality Tradeoffs

Author

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  • Stefan Buehler

    ()

  • Dennis Gärtner

    ()

  • Daniel Halbheer

    ()

Abstract

This paper examines the effects of introducing competition into monopolized network industries on prices and infrastructure quality. Analyzing a model with reduced-form demand, we first show that deregulating an integrated monopoly cannot simultaneously decrease the retail price and increase infrastructure quality. Second, we derive conditions under which reducing both retail price and infrastructure quality relative to the integrated monopoly outcome increases welfare. Third, we argue that restructuring and setting very low access charges may yield welfare losses, as infrastructure investment is undermined. We provide an extensive analysis of the linear demand model and discuss policy implications. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Buehler & Dennis Gärtner & Daniel Halbheer, 2006. "Deregulating Network Industries: Dealing with Price-quality Tradeoffs," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 99-115, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:regeco:v:30:y:2006:i:1:p:99-115
    DOI: 10.1007/s11149-006-0011-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mandy, David M, 2000. "Killing the Goose That May Have Laid the Golden Egg: Only the Data Know Whether Sabotage Pays," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 157-172, March.
    2. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, January.
    3. Weisman, Dennis L & Kang, Jaesung, 2001. "Incentives for Discrimination when Upstream Monopolists Participate in Downstream Markets," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 125-139, September.
    4. David Mandy & David Sappington, 2007. "Incentives for sabotage in vertically related industries," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 235-260, June.
    5. Severin Borenstein, 2002. "The Trouble With Electricity Markets: Understanding California's Restructuring Disaster," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 191-211, Winter.
    6. Newbery, David M., 1997. "Privatisation and liberalisation of network utilities," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 357-383, April.
    7. Buehler, Stefan & Schmutzler, Armin & Benz, Men-Andri, 2004. "Infrastructure quality in deregulated industries: is there an underinvestment problem?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 253-267, February.
    8. Reiffen, David, 1998. "A Regulated Firm's Incentive to Discriminate: A Reevaluation and Extension of Weisman's Result," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 79-86, July.
    9. A. Michael Spence, 1975. "Monopoly, Quality, and Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 6(2), pages 417-429, Autumn.
    10. Economides, Nicholas, 1998. "The incentive for non-price discrimination by an input monopolist," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 271-284, May.
    11. Spence, A Michael, 1977. "Nonprice Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 255-259, February.
    12. Beard, T Randolph & Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W, 2001. "Regulation, Vertical Integration and Sabotage," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 319-333, September.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Avenali, Alessandro & Matteucci, Giorgio & Reverberi, Pierfrancesco, 2014. "Broadband investment and welfare under functional and ownership separation," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 70-82.
    2. Dominik Schober, 2013. "Refinancing under Yardstick Regulation with Investment Cycles–The Case of Long-Lived Electricity Network Assets," EWL Working Papers 1321, University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair for Management Science and Energy Economics, revised Jun 2013.
    3. Alessandro Avenali & Giorgio Matteucci & Pierfrancesco Reverberi, 2010. "How does vertical industry structure affect investment in infrastructure quality?," DIS Technical Reports 2010-08, Department of Computer, Control and Management Engineering, Universita' degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza".
    4. Christian Growitsch & Marcus Stronzik, 2014. "Ownership unbundling of natural gas transmission networks: empirical evidence," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 207-225, October.
    5. Schober, Dominik & Weber, Christoph, 2015. "Refinancing under yardstick regulation with investment cycles: The case of long-lived electricity network assets," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-065, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Andreas Haller & Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2013. "Termination charges in the international parcel market," Chapters,in: Reforming the Postal Sector in the Face of Electronic Competition, chapter 19, pages 277-293 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. Andreas Haller & Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2011. "Termination Charges in the International Parcel Market: Competition and Regulation," Working Papers 0028, Swiss Economics.
    8. Growitsch, Christian & Stronzik, Marcus, 2011. "Ownership Unbundling of Gas Transmission Networks - Empirical Evidence," EWI Working Papers 2011-7, Energiewirtschaftliches Institut an der Universitaet zu Koeln (EWI).
    9. Yongmin Chen & David E. M. Sappington, 2010. "INNOVATION IN VERTICALLY RELATED MARKETS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 373-401, June.
    10. Stefan Bühler & Simon Wey, 2010. "Demand-Enhancing Investment in Mixed Duopoly," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-16, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
    11. Mark Armstrong & David E.M. Sappington, 2006. "Regulation, Competition and Liberalization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(2), pages 325-366, June.
    12. repec:eee:indorg:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:114-144 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Sand, Jan Y., 2012. "Infrastructure quality regulation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 310-319.
    14. Gugler, Klaus & Rammerstorfer, Margarethe & Schmitt, Stephan, 2013. "Ownership unbundling and investment in electricity markets — A cross country study," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 702-713.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Infrastructure quality; Deregulation; Investment incentives; Access charges; Regulation; D43; L434;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation

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