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The future of the USO - Economic rationale for universal services and implications for a future-oriented USO

  • Christian Jaag
  • Urs Trinkner

Universal service obligations (USO) in the postal sector currently enjoy considerable attention among politicians, practitioners and academics. The primary areas of interest have been the viability, costing and funding of the USO in a completely liberalized market. However, the purpose and the scope of the USO itself have so far not been questioned fundamentally. In this paper we first analyze the possible rationale for USO from an economic point of view. Then, we discuss the impact of converging postal and telecommunications markets on potential alternative means to provide USO in a more efficient way.

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File URL: http://www.swiss-economics.ch/RePEc/files/0026JaagTrinkner.pdf
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Paper provided by Swiss Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0026.

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Date of creation: Jul 2011
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Handle: RePEc:chc:wpaper:0026
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.swiss-economics.chEmail:


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  1. 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.
  2. Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2011. "The interaction between universal service costing and financing in the postal sector: a calibrated approach," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 89-110, February.
  3. H. Cremer & F. Gasmi & A. Grimaud & J. J. Laffont, 2001. "Universal Service: An economic perspective," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(1), pages 5-43, 03.
  4. Christian Jaag & Urs Trinkner, 2007. "Pricing in competitive two-sided mail markets," Working Papers 0007, Swiss Economics, revised Jul 2007.
  5. M. Maegli & C. Jaag & M. Koller & U. Trinkner, 2010. "Postal Markets and Electronic Substitution: What is the Impact of Intermodal Competition on Regulatory Practices and Institutions?," Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, Intersentia, vol. 11(4), pages 382-398, December.
  6. Crew, Michael A & Kleindorfer, Paul R, 1998. "Efficient Entry, Monopoly, and the Universal Service Obligation in Postal Service," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 103-25, September.
  7. repec:rje:randje:v:37:y:2006:3:p:645-667 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Boldron, François & Cremer, Helmuth & De Donder, Philippe & Joram, Denis & Roy, Bernard, 2007. "Social costs and benefits of the universal service obligation in the postal market," IDEI Working Papers 456, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  9. Christian Jaag & Helmut Dietl & Urs Trinkner & Oliver Fürst, 2011. "Defending Mail Markets against New Entrants: An Application of the Defender Model," Working Papers 0027, Swiss Economics.
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