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The Economics of Railways Restructuring in South Korea

  • Pittman, Russell
  • Choi, Sunghee

South Korea, like many countries, is engaged in a policy debate concerning possible railways reforms. However, unlike most countries, here the focus of discussion has been the government’s proposal to open high-speed passenger train lines to a second train company that would supply on-track competition to KTX trains. While such a policy may indeed lead to lower fares and greater efficiency, worldwide experience casts doubt on the government’s hope that it would lead to such dramatic increases in ridership that the level of subsidies to the overall rail system could be reduced. We argue that a more promising reform strategy may be to introduce competition into freight rail. Based on the Latin American experience, creating independent, vertically integrated, competing freight railway companies could be expected not only to lower shipper rates and increase efficiency but also to raise considerable revenues from the private sector in franchising fees and new investments.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 44992.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:44992
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  1. Fumitoshi Mizutani & Shuji Uranishi, 2013. "Does vertical separation reduce cost? An empirical analysis of the rail industry in European and East Asian OECD Countries," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 31-59, January.
  2. Christian Growitsch & Heike Wetzel, 2007. "Testing for Economies of Scope in European Railways: An Efficiency Analysis," Working Paper Series in Economics 72, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  3. Antonio Estache & Andrea Goldstein & Russell Pittman, 2001. "Privatization and Regulatory Reform in Brazil: The Case of Freight Railways," Development and Comp Systems 0111001, EconWPA.
  4. Nash, Chris & Nilsson, Jan-Eric & Link, Heike, 2011. "Comparing three models for introduction of competition into railways – is a Big Wolf so Bad after all?," Working papers in Transport Economics 2011:19, CTS - Centre for Transport Studies Stockholm (KTH and VTI).
  5. Ivaldi, Marc & McCullough, Gerard, 2004. "Subadditivity Tests for Network Separation with an Application to US Railroads," CEPR Discussion Papers 4392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Chris Nash & Jan-Eric Nilsson & Heike Link, 2013. "Comparing Three Models for Introduction of Competition into Railways," Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, London School of Economics and University of Bath, vol. 47(2), pages 191-206, May.
  7. Dani Rodrik, 2007. "Introductiion to One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth
    [One Economics, Many Recipes: Globalization, Institutions, and Economic Growth]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
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