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Universal Service Obligations and Competition with Asymmetric Information

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  • Poudou, J.C.
  • Roland, M.
  • Thomas, L.

Abstract

This paper takes into account adverse selection in the implementation of universal service obligations (USOs) for a network industry with no bypass. USOs are characterized by a coverage constraint imposed on the network’s owner. We develop fully the model for a welfare maximizing coverage constraint and explain how to adapt it for a full coverage (ubiquity) constraint. We use a market without USO as a benchmark case. We show that, because of information rents, a sufficiently high shadow cost of public funds can lead to a lower coverage with the USO than without it when firms turn out to be relatively inefficient. If the regulator is able to determine the industry structure by issuing licences to operate, the optimal number of firms reflects a trade-off between allocative efficiency and the industry capacity to finance internally the USO. The shadow cost of public funds then plays a dual role as it determines the terms of this efficiency funding trade-off in addition to the terms of the traditionnal efficiency rent trade-off.

Suggested Citation

  • Poudou, J.C. & Roland, M. & Thomas, L., 2007. "Universal Service Obligations and Competition with Asymmetric Information," Cahiers du LASER (LASER Working Papers) 2007.22, LASER (Laboratoire de Science Economique de Richter), Faculty of Economics, University of Montpellier 1.
  • Handle: RePEc:mop:lasrwp:2007.22
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    File URL: http://www.laser.univ-montp1.fr/Cahiers/cahier220207.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniel Danau & Annalisa Vinella, 2017. "Contractual design in agency problems with non-monotonic cost and correlated information," SERIES 02-2017, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza - Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro", revised Mar 2017.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    universal service obligations; coverage constraints; asymmetric information; regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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