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A Note on “Postal Users’ Needs” and Their Role in Postal Regulation

In: The Changing Postal Environment


  • Felix C. H. Gottschalk

    (Regulation Economist, Swiss Post)


In recent discussions on the reform of postal universal service obligations (USOs), frequent references are made to “postal users’ needs” (sometimes also: “postal consumers’ needs”). The notion has become an important ingredient in the postal policy debate, yet the notion itself and its implications have remained remarkably fuzzy. This article analyzes the notion by classifying its use in the literature into two distinct concepts, and discusses them with respect to their strengths and weaknesses. We claim the two concepts serve different purposes and need to be distinguished thoroughly. However, in discussions, they are often mixed-up, resulting in a lack of clarity about the role of user needs in postal regulation.

Suggested Citation

  • Felix C. H. Gottschalk, 2020. "A Note on “Postal Users’ Needs” and Their Role in Postal Regulation," Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy, in: Pier Luigi Parcu & Timothy J. Brennan & Victor Glass (ed.), The Changing Postal Environment, pages 309-320, Springer.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:topchp:978-3-030-34532-7_23
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-34532-7_23

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