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Natural Monopoly and Railway Policy in the Nineteenth Century


  • Foreman-Peck, J S


Competition in the British railway system had burnt itself out by the end of the nineteenth century. Regression estimates of a cost fun ction based upon the 1865 railway returns are consistent with the ind ustry being a natural monopoly in which a number of firms were compet ing. The national railway system was not provided at the lowest cost. Analysis of two cross-national data sets implies the regulatory syst ems of other nations, which generally entailed monopolization and nat ionalization, generated lower railway capital costs than did that of the United Kingdom. Copyright 1987 by Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Foreman-Peck, J S, 1987. "Natural Monopoly and Railway Policy in the Nineteenth Century," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 699-718, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxecpp:v:39:y:1987:i:4:p:699-718

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Barro, Robert J & Grossman, Herschel I, 1971. "A General Disequilibrium Model of Income and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 82-93, March.
    6. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    7. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1983. "On the Relevance or Irrelevance of Public Financial Policy: Indexation,Price Rigidities and Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bruce Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Money, Imperfect Information and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2188, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Bruce C. Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1986. "Externalities in Economies with Imperfect Information and Incomplete Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 229-264.
    10. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    11. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1983. "Incentive Effects of Terminations: Applications to the Credit and Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 912-927, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Crafts, Nicholas, 2011. "Explaining the first Industrial Revolution: two views," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(01), pages 153-168, April.
    2. James Foreman-Peck & Leslie Hannah, 2012. "Some Consequences of the Early Twentieth Century Divorce of Ownership from Control," Working Papers 0023, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    3. Bogart, Dan, 2010. "A global perspective on railway inefficiency and the rise of state ownership, 1880-1912," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 158-178, April.
    4. Michael Perelman, 1994. "Retrospectives: Fixed Capital, Railroad Economics and the Critique of the Market," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 189-195, Summer.
    5. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4153 is not listed on IDEAS

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