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Liberalization of the Swiss Letter Market and the Viability of Universal Service Obligations

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  • Christian Jaag

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Abstract

We discuss the ongoing liberalization process in the market for addressed letter mail in Switzerland. The core of the paper is an assessment of the liberalization’s impact on the financial viability of various universal service obligations with and without access to the incumbent’s downstream delivery network for customers and competitors. We propose a simple calibrated model of the Swiss letter market offering theoretical insights into the mechanics of market opening along with quantitative conclusions bearing direct policy relevance. The extent of the entrants’ market coverage and the equilibrium in the resulting price competition are endogenously determined. Our simulations suggest caution in introducing full market opening. For the scenarios considered, the model shows that either the burden of the uso must be reduced (e.g. with respect to the frequency and the coverage of delivery and / or through price differentiation). Alternatively, other means of assuring financial stability of Swiss Post must be sought, be it through external funds or demand stimulation through new products, possibly in the worksharing domain.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Jaag, 2007. "Liberalization of the Swiss Letter Market and the Viability of Universal Service Obligations," Working Papers 0006, Swiss Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:chc:wpaper:0006
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    File URL: http://www.swiss-economics.ch/RePEc/files/0006Jaag.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Valletti, Tommaso M & Hoernig, Steffen & Barros, Pedro P, 2002. "Universal Service and Entry: The Role of Uniform Pricing and Coverage Constraints," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 169-190, March.
    2. Helmut M. Dietl & Urs Trinkner & Reto Bleisch, 2004. "Liberalization and Regulation of the Swiss Letter Market," Working Papers 0001, Swiss Economics, revised Jul 2005.
    3. Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2008. "Pricing in Competitive Two-Sided Mail Markets," Chapters,in: Competition and Regulation in the Postal and Delivery Sector, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    4. Beat Friedli & Christian Jaag & Daniel Kraehenbuehl & Ole Bach Nielsen & Søren-Michael Pihl & Urs Trinkner, 2006. "Consumer preferences and last mile pricing in the postal sector," Working Papers 0004, Swiss Economics, revised Jul 2006.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Buser & Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2008. "Economics of Post Office Networks: Strategic Issues and the Impact on Mail Demand," Chapters,in: Handbook of Worldwide Postal Reform, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Christian Jaag & Martin Koller & Urs Trinkner, 2009. "Calculating the Cost of the Universal Service Obligation: The Need for a Global Approach," Chapters,in: Progress in the Competitive Agenda in the Postal and Delivery Sector, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Alfred Hugentobler & Christian Jaag, 2014. "Switzerland: The Role of Swiss Post in Indirect Press Subsidies," Working Papers 0044, Swiss Economics.
    4. Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2008. "Pricing in Competitive Two-Sided Mail Markets," Chapters,in: Competition and Regulation in the Postal and Delivery Sector, chapter 10 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. 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.
    6. Jaag Christian, 2011. "Entry Deterrence and the Calculation of the Net Cost of Universal Service Obligations," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-19, March.
    7. Dietl Helmut M & Jaag Christian & Lang Markus & Trinkner Urs W.O., 2011. "Competition and Welfare Effects of VAT Exemptions," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-29, April.
    8. Christian Jaag & Helmut Dietl & Urs Trinkner & Oliver Furst, 2012. "Defending Mail Markets Against New Entrants: An Application of the Defender Model," Chapters,in: Multi-Modal Competition and the Future of Mail, chapter 17 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. Jaag Christian, 2013. "Price Regulation and the Financing of Universal Services in Network Industries," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 125-150, September.
    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. Jaag, Christian, 2014. "Postal-sector policy: From monopoly to regulated competition and beyond," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 266-277.
    12. Maegli, Martin & Jaag, Christian, 2009. "Regulatory Governance Costs in Network Industries: Implicatins for postal Regulation," MPRA Paper 15309, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Helmut M. Dietl & Urs Trinkner, 2008. "Developing Universal Postal Services in Latin America – an Economic Perspective," Working Papers 0012, Swiss Economics, revised Nov 2008.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    post; universal service obligation; full market opening; liberalization; mail;

    JEL classification:

    • H44 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Goods: Mixed Markets
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods

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