IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The European Railway Sectors: Understanding and Assessing Change

Listed author(s):
  • Giovanni ESPOSITO




  • Tobias KALOUD


  • Marco MARIOTTI




Registered author(s):

    This paper aims at explaining and assessing the process of change that European railway sectors have experienced over the last decades. It has been organized in two parts: the first part (section 2) explains change and the second part (section 3) empirically assesses change. In the first part we argue that the roots of this change process date back to the 1950s when, because of competitiveness reasons, the market share of most European railways began to decrease compared to other transport modes. Since national reformers ascribed these performance shortcomings to the traditional organization of the railway sector which was that of vertically-integrated state- owned monopoly. Therefore, between the 1970s and 1980s many governments in Europe adopted reforms that tried to inject competition in national railway sectors by supporting liberalization policies. Then, since early-1990s the European Commission has released a number of regulatory instruments aimed at pursuing three main goals: 1) liberalization of the rail services; 2) unbundling of infrastructure and service level, and 3) creation of the common transport market. The empirical analysis conducted in the second part of this paper suggests that state-controlled structures still play a crucial role in the management and performance of national railway industries as lower service prices are associated with greater presence of the state in the sector. Results show that liberalization-friendly regulation does not necessarily benefit railway service consumers since increased levels of market access, unbundling and privatization are not necessarily associated with lower prices. Our analysis shows that the long-lasting transition from state-owned monopolies to competitive market arrangements in the railway sectors provided mitigated results. We conclude this paper by launching a reflection on the future developments of railways in Europe.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2017-01.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 02 Jan 2017
    Handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2017-01
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    Via Conservatorio 7, I-20122 Milan - Italy

    Phone: +39 02 50321522
    Fax: +39 02 50321505
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mil:wpdepa:2017-01. 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: (DEMM Working Papers)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.