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A General Framework for Regulation and Liberalization in Network Industries


  • Christian Jaag


  • Urs Trinkner



In parallel with liberalization, sector-specific regulation in network industries has become a widely discussed topic among academics, policy makers, industry economists and regulators themselves. The issue of these debates has usually been on whether such regulation is necessary and if so what its optimal design should be. Some argue for complete deregulation (i.e., the complete abolishment of sector-specific regulations), whereas others propose reregulations, that is the replacement of pre-existing (monopoly) regulations by new regulations aiming at safeguarding service levels and competition. The resulting compromise is often somewhere in between; the liberalization process usually entails the partial replacement and realignment of sector-specific regulatory intervention by the disciplining forces of competition protected by competition law. Consequently, competition law and sector-specific regulation play complementary roles. In this paper, we present a general economic framework to assess regulatory remedies in network industries. Therein, liberalization, or more generally market access regulation, can be assessed as well. It provides a foundation and explanation of current sector-specific regulations in place.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2009. "A General Framework for Regulation and Liberalization in Network Industries," Working Papers 0016, Swiss Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:chc:wpaper:0016

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Bijl, P.W.J. & van Damme, E.E.C. & Larouche, P., 2005. "Regulating Access to Stimulate Competition in Postal Markets," Discussion Paper 2005-026, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    2. Pablo T. Spiller, 2009. "An Institutional Theory of Public Contracts: Regulatory Implications," Chapters,in: Regulation, Deregulation, Reregulation, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Matthias Finger & Christian Jaag & Markus Lang & Martin Lutzenberger & Urs Trinkner, 2009. "Bestimmung des Regulierungsbedarfs aus ökonomischer Sicht: Angemessenheit und Folgen einer funktionalen oder strukturellen Trennung von Swisscom," Studies and Reports, Swiss Economics, pages 1-92, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charlene Rohr & Urs Trinkner & Alison Lawrence & Priscillia Hunt & Chong Woo Kim & Dimitris Potoglou & Rob Sheldon, 2011. "Appropriate Methodologies to Better Measure Consumer Preferences for Postal Services," Studies and Reports, Swiss Economics, pages 1-136, December.
    2. Matthias Finger & Torben Holvad, 2013. "Setting the scene: background and overview of regulatory reform in the transport sector," Chapters,in: Regulating Transport in Europe, chapter 1, pages 1-35 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. 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.
    4. Jaag, Christian, 2014. "Postal-sector policy: From monopoly to regulated competition and beyond," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 266-277.
    5. repec:eee:juipol:v:48:y:2017:i:c:p:12-21 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2012. "Defining and financing an intermodal USO," Working Papers 0035, Swiss Economics.

    More about this item


    Liberalization; Regulation; Network industries;

    JEL classification:

    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L44 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Antitrust Policy and Public Enterprise, Nonprofit Institutions, and Professional Organizations
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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