Do Switching Costs Make Markets More or Less Competitive? The Case of 800-Number Portability
Do switching costs reduce or intensify price competition if firms charge the same price to old and new consumers? I study 800-number portability to determine whether switching costs intensify price competition under a single price regime. Before portability, a customer had to change toll-free numbers in order to change service providers. In May 1993, 800-numbers became portable, under a regulatory regime that precluded price discrimination between old and new consumers. AT&T and MCI reduced their toll-free services prices in response to portability, implying that the elimination of switching costs made the market more competitive. Despite rapid growth in toll-free services, gains from higher prices to "locked-in" consumers exceeded the incentives to capture new consumers. Prices on larger contracts dropped more, consistent with greater lock-in for larger users. Price changes after portability's announcement but before implementation are consistent with rational expectations.
|Date of creation:||Dec 2005|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-5015|
Phone: (650) 723-2146
Web page: http://gsbapps.stanford.edu/researchpapers/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Calem, Paul S & Mester, Loretta J, 1995.
"Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of Credit-Card Interest Rates,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1327-1336, December.
- Paul S. Calem & Loretta J. Mester, "undated". "Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of CreditCard Interest Rates," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 03-94, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Paul S. Calem & Loretta J. Mester, 1995. "Consumer behavior and the stickiness of credit card interest rates," Working Papers 95-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Paul S. Calem & Loretta J. Mester, 1994. "Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of Credit Card Interest Rates," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 94-14, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- Paul S. Calem & Loretta J. Mester, "undated". "Consumer Behavior and the Stickiness of CreditCard Interest Rates," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-94, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
- Steven A. Sharpe, 1992. "Consumer switching costs, market structure and prices: the theory and its application in the bank deposit market," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 183, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Yongmin Chen, 1997. "Paying Customers to Switch," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(4), pages 877-897, December.
- Tore Nilssen, 1992. "Two Kinds of Consumer Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(4), pages 579-589, Winter.
- Nilssen, T., 1990. "Two Kinds of Consumer Switching Costs," Papers 12-90, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
- Kenneth G. Elzinga & David E. Mills, 1998. "Switching Costs in the Wholesale Distribution of Cigarettes," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(2), pages 282-293, October.
- Kaserman, David L. & Mayo, John W., 1991. "Competition for 800 service : An economic evaluation," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 395-410, October.
- Moshe Kim & Doron Kliger & Bent Vale, 2001. "Estimating Switching Costs and Oligopolistic Behavior," Center for Financial Institutions Working Papers 01-13, Wharton School Center for Financial Institutions, University of Pennsylvania.
- MacAvoy, Paul W, 1995. "Tacit Collusion under Regulation in the Pricing of Interstate Long-Distance Telephone Services," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(2), pages 147-185, Summer.
- Severin Borenstein, 1991. "Selling Costs and Switching Costs: Explaining Retail Gasoline Margins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 22(3), pages 354-369, Autumn.
- Caminal, Ramon & Matutes, Carmen, 1990. "Endogenous switching costs in a duopoly model," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 353-373, September. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecl:stabus:1773r3. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.