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Free Entry and the Sustainability of Natural Monopoly

Author

Listed:
  • John C. Panzar
  • Robert D. Willig

Abstract

Contrary to conventional wisdom, a regulated natural monopoly may be vulnerable to entry by uninnovative competitors even if it is producing and pricing efficiently and earning zero economic profits. The causes and consequences of this unsustainability are theoretically examined in an idealized regulatory environment. In particular, strong demand substitution effects and product-specific scale economies work against sustainability. If natural monopoly is unsustainable, no regulated market structure which provides the entire product set can be sustainable.

Suggested Citation

  • John C. Panzar & Robert D. Willig, 1977. "Free Entry and the Sustainability of Natural Monopoly," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 1-22, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:bellje:v:8:y:1977:i:spring:p:1-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edwin Mansfield & John Rapoport & Anthony Romeo & Samuel Wagner & George Beardsley, 1977. "Social and Private Rates of Return from Industrial Innovations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(2), pages 221-240.
    2. Mansfield, Edwin, 1980. "Basic Research and Productivity Increase in Manufacturing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 863-873, December.
    3. Berndt, Ernst R & Christensen, Laurits R, 1974. "Testing for the Existence of a Consistent Aggregate Index of Labor Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 391-404, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wayne Y. Lee & Anjan V. Thakor, 2004. "Regulatory Pricing and Capital Investment under Asymmetric Information about Cost," Finance 0411022, EconWPA.
    2. Martin Maegli & Christian Jaag & Matthias Finger, 2009. "Coûts de la régulation des industries de réseaux : enseignements du réseau postal," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(3), pages 47-68.
    3. J.C. Panzar & AW. Postlewaite, 1982. "Sustainable Outlay Schedules," Discussion Papers 626, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    4. Leonard J. Mirman & Yair Tauman & Israel Zang, 1985. "Supportability, Sustainability, and Subsidy-Free Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, pages 114-126.
    5. Knieps, Günter, 2004. "Limits to the (De-)Regulation of Transport Services," Discussion Papers 99, University of Freiburg, Institute for Transport Economics and Regional Policy.
    6. Kitchens, Carl T. & Jaworski, Taylor, 2017. "Ownership and the price of residential electricity: Evidence from the United States, 1935–1940," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 53-61.
    7. Semenova, Oxana, 2014. "The system of tariffs for railway transportation and the direction of its future development," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, pages 105-115.
    8. Paul L. Joskow & Roger G. Noll, 1981. "Regulation in Theory and Practice: An Overview," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Public Regulation, pages 1-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Thompson, Fred & Zumeta, William, 2001. "Effects of key state policies on private colleges and universities: sustaining private-sector capacity in the face of the higher education access challenge," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 517-531, December.
    10. M. Maegli & C. Jaag & M. Finger, 2010. "Regulatory Governance Costs in Network Industries: Observations in Postal Regulation," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 11(2), pages 207-238, June.
    11. Wayne Y. Lee & Anjan V. Thakor, 1982. "Optimal Regulatory Pricing Under Asymmetric Cost Information," Discussion Papers 580, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    12. Knieps, Günter, 2014. "Market versus state in building the aviation value chain," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 30-37.
    13. Bruce M. Owen & Peter R. Greenhalgh, 1986. "Competitive Considerations In Cable Television Franchising," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 4(2), pages 69-79, April.
    14. David Encaoua & Michel Moreaux, 1987. "L'analyse théorique des problèmes de tarification et d'allocation des coûts dans les télécommunications," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 38(2), pages 375-414.
    15. repec:dau:papers:123456789/84 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Kenneth C. Baseman, 1981. "Open Entry and Cross-Subsidization in Regulated Markets," NBER Chapters,in: Studies in Public Regulation, pages 329-370 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Dreze, Jacques & Le Breton, Michel & Savvateev, Alexei & Weber, Shlomo, 2006. "0.19% Subsidy-Free Spatial Pricing," IDEI Working Papers 423, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    18. Holguin-Veras, Jose & Jara-Diaz, Sergio, 1998. "Optimal pricing for priority service and space allocation in container ports," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 81-106, April.
    19. Maegli, Martin & Jaag, Christian, 2009. "Regulatory Governance Costs in Network Industries: Implicatins for postal Regulation," MPRA Paper 15309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Edward M. Iacobucci & Michael J. Trebilcock & Tracey D. Epps, 2007. "Rerouting the Mail: Why Canada Post is Due for Reform," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 243, February.

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