Demand and Pricing of Telecommunications Services: Evidence and Welfare Implications
Although telephone pricing has received increasing attention in recent years, the geographic patterns of telephone pricing and the corresponding economic consequences of those patterns have remained perplexing to consumers and policymakers and largely unaddressed by economists. In this article we first specify a model of the demand for short (intraLATA) long distance calling. We then draw upon data made available by the recent adoption of extended area service (EAS) in four metropolitan areas to empirically measure the structure of inter-exchange telephone demand. Given these estimates, and a conceptual framework for analyzing the economic welfare effects, we were able to quantify the consumer-surplus effects of alternative pricing policies. The empirical results indicate that consumer surplus is noticeably enhanced by adopting EAS. But the net economic welfare effects are shown to be sensitive to, among other things, the level of price-cost margins prevailing prior to the implementation of EAS.
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Volume (Year): 24 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 (Autumn)
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