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Crowding Out or Complementarity in the Telecommunications Market?

There is a substantial number of cases where the a priori relationship between products is not at all clear in the sense that although apparent to be clear substitutes may turn out to be in fact complements, or vice-versa. This paper aims to study the relationship between fixed and mobile telephony in the United Kingdom and, in particular, address the question if mobile communications crowded out fixed telephony or if, on the other hand, the two types of communications are in fact complements. We estimate a structural continuous-choice demand model following Pinkse et al. (2002), Pinkse and Slade (2004), and Slade (2004) and we find that at the current diffusion stage, fixed and mobile communications appear to be complements. Given that the model is micro-founded, we also address the question of how the evolution of the price differential between the two types of communication may, respectively, affect the welfare of consumers and firms. We find that the continuation of these price trends have substantial welfare benefits for subscribers and at the same time have no significant impact on the profits for firms. Finally, we present some economic policy implications, especially about the need to (de)regulate telecommunications provision.

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Paper provided by NET Institute in its series Working Papers with number 07-33.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2007
Date of revision: Sep 2007
Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0733
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.NETinst.org/

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  1. Doganoglu, Toker & Grzybowski, Lukasz, 2007. "Estimating network effects in mobile telephony in Germany," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 65-79, March.
  2. Austan Goolsbee, 2001. "Competition in the Computer Industry: Online Versus Retail," NBER Chapters, in: E-commerce, pages 487-499 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Margaret E. Slade, 2004. "Market Power and Joint Dominance in U.K. Brewing," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(1), pages 133-163, 03.
  4. Philip M. Parker & Lars-Hendrik Roller, 1997. "Collusive Conduct in Duopolies: Multimarket Contact and Cross-Ownership in the Mobile Telephone Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(2), pages 304-322, Summer.
  5. Mortimer, Julie Holland & Nosko, Chris & Sorensen, Alan, 2012. "Supply responses to digital distribution: Recorded music and live performances," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 3-14.
  6. Steven T. Berry & Joel Waldfogel, 1997. "Public Radio in the United States: Does It Correct Market Failure or Cannibalize Commercial Stations?," NBER Working Papers 6057, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joris Pinkse & Margaret E. Slade & Craig Brett, 2002. "Spatial Price Competition: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(3), pages 1111-1153, May.
  8. Rob, Rafael & Waldfogel, Joel, 2006. "Piracy on the High C's: Music Downloading, Sales Displacement, and Social Welfare in a Sample of College Students," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 29-62, April.
  9. Brown, Bryan W & Walker, Mary Beth, 1989. "The Random Utility Hypothesis and Inference in Demand Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 815-29, July.
  10. Matthew Gentzkow, 2006. "Valuing New Goods in a Model with Complementarities: Online Newspapers," NBER Working Papers 12562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Rodini, Mark & Ward, Michael R. & Woroch, Glenn A., 0. "Going mobile: substitutability between fixed and mobile access," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(5-6), pages 457-476, June.
  12. Pinkse, Joris & Slade, Margaret E., 2004. "Mergers, brand competition, and the price of a pint," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 617-643, June.
  13. Lee, Jongsu & Kim, Yeonbae & Lee, Jeong-Dong & Park, Yuri, 2006. "Estimating the extent of potential competition in the Korean mobile telecommunications market: Switching costs and number portability," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 107-124, January.
  14. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, March.
  15. Nakil Sung & Yong-Hun Lee, 2002. "Substitution between Mobile and Fixed Telephones in Korea," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 367-374, June.
  16. Hausman, Jerry, 1999. "Cellular Telephone, New Products, and the CPI," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(2), pages 188-94, April.
  17. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  18. Lukasz Grzybowski, 2008. "Estimating Switching Costs in Mobile Telephony in the UK," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 113-132, June.
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