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Role of the state in infrastructure provisioning from 1880s to World War I: telecommunications infrastructure in Europe

Author

Listed:
  • Damir AGIC

    ()

  • Nico GROVE

    ()

Abstract

The telecommunications industry, as provider of essential infrastructure, generator of welfare and promoter of freedom of speech, has experienced a series of dramatic changes since its beginnings in the late 19th century. Being initially a sector with a wide range of different forms and structure types, telecommunications have gradually developed into a public-owned industry without competition. However, in the past several decades, following the latest liberalisation and privatisation wave worldwide, the telecommunications industry has become an increasingly dynamic environment with a great potential for further growth. Nevertheless, in many countries the state has asserted its strong position within the sector regardless of the proceeding liberalisation process. Against this backdrop, the aim of the paper is to investigate the role of the state in the provisioning and financing process regarding telecommunications infrastructure in Europe from a cross-temporal perspective. To answer this question a cross-country analysis will be applied by comparing different political and institutional patterns across the European Union. By investigating telecommunications infrastructure projects across time periods, the paper aims at identifying different industrial structures that have emerged within the industry at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century and, hence, analysing the corresponding role the central authority had played in providing telecommunications services.

Suggested Citation

  • Damir AGIC & Nico GROVE, 2012. "Role of the state in infrastructure provisioning from 1880s to World War I: telecommunications infrastructure in Europe," Departmental Working Papers 2012-12, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  • Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2012-12
    as

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    File URL: http://wp.demm.unimi.it/files/wp/2012/DEMM-2012_012wp.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lars-Hendrik Roller & Leonard Waverman, 2001. "Telecommunications Infrastructure and Economic Development: A Simultaneous Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 909-923, September.
    2. Robert M. Solow, 1956. "A Contribution to the Theory of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 65-94.
    3. Wallsten, Scott, 2005. "Returning to Victorian Competition, Ownership, and Regulation: An Empirical Study of European Telecommunications at the Turn of the Twentieth Century," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 65(03), pages 693-722, September.
    4. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-841, August.
    5. ., 2006. "A European business school field in the making," Chapters,in: Ranking Business Schools, chapter 3 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Arnold PICOT & Nico GROVE, 2010. "Closing gaps in the information society: providing high-speed broadband access to rural areas," Departmental Working Papers 2010-17, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    7. Keefer, Philip, 1996. "Protection Against a Capricious State: French Investment and Spanish Railroads, 1845–1875," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(01), pages 170-192, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Telecommunications infrastructure; financing; provisioning;

    JEL classification:

    • N13 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N43 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • N73 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: Pre-1913
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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