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On Measuring Competitive Viability and Monopoly Power in Cable: An Empirical Cost Approach


  • Mary T. Kelly

    (Villanova University)

  • John S. Ying

    (University of Delaware)


This study provides empirical evidence concerning the economic feasibility of competition in the local market for video-delivery services. Using responses from the FCC's 1995 cost survey, we jointly estimate a translog cost function with factor share equations. To evaluate subadditivity, the fitted total cost of each firm is compared with the cost of two firms providing the same total output in eleven different market scenarios. Although costs were mildly superadditive, in the vast majority of cases they were lower when one firm provided the output. Average cost savings with respect to a monopoly were fairly small, ranging from 1.37% with a 10% market overlap to 5.05% with a complete overbuild. We also calculated marginal cost from the fitted total cost equation, and a price for cable services derived from the FCC survey data. Using these results and Rubinovitz's price elasticity of - 1.46, we estimated that reregulation had a regulatory effectiveness of 0.3251 and held prices to 40.5% of the monopoly level. © 2003 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Mary T. Kelly & John S. Ying, 2003. "On Measuring Competitive Viability and Monopoly Power in Cable: An Empirical Cost Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 962-970, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:85:y:2003:i:4:p:962-970

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    Cited by:

    1. Mary T Kelly & John S Ying, 2014. "Testing the Effectiveness of Regulation and Competition on Cable Television Rates," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 387-404, June.
    2. David P. Byrne, 2015. "Testing Models Of Differentiated Products Markets: Consolidation In The Cable Tv Industry," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 56(3), pages 805-850, August.
    3. Byrne, D. P. & Imai, S. & Jain, N. & Sarafidis, V. & Hirukawa, M., 2020. "Identification and Estimation of Differentiated Products Models using Cost Data," Working Papers 15/05, Department of Economics, City University London.
    4. Sutirtha Bagchi & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2017. "Barriers to Entry and Competitive Behavior: Evidence from Reforms of Cable Franchising Regulations," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 510-558, September.
    5. Bikram Ghosh & Subramanian Balachander, 2007. "Research Note--Competitive Bundling and Counterbundling with Generalist and Specialist Firms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(1), pages 159-168, January.
    6. David P. Byrne & Susumu Imai & Vasilis Sarafidis & Masayuki Hirukawa, 2015. "Instrument-free Identification and Estimation of Differentiated Products Models," Working Paper Series 26, Economics Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.

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