Railroad Costs and Competition: The Implications of Introducing Competition to Railroad Networks
This study examines the cost implications of competition over existing US freight rail lines by testing for the condition of cost subadditivity. The study finds: (1) that there are economies associated with vertically integrated roadway maintenance and transport, suggesting that separating the two would result in increased resource costs; and (2) railroads are natural monopolies in providing transport services over their own network, suggesting that multiple-firm competition over such a network would result in increased resource costs. These findings suggest that policies introducing rail competition through "open access" or on bottleneck segments would not be beneficial from a cost perspective. Moreover, the price decreases necessary for the introduction of such competition to be beneficial would be large. © The London School of Economics and the University of Bath 2003
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