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Is the regulation of the transport sector always detrimental to consumers?

Listed author(s):
  • Behrens, Kristian

    (CORE, Universite catholique de Louvain)

  • Carl Gaigne

    (IRNA-ESR, Renne, France)

  • Jacques-Francois Thisse

    (CORE, Universite catholique de Louvain)

The aim of this paper is to qualify the claim that regulating a competitive transport sector is always detrimental to consumers. We show indeed that, although transport deregulation is beneficial to consumers as long as the location of economic activity is fixed, this is no longer true when, in the long run, firms and workers are freely mobile. The reason is that the static gains due to less monopoly power in the transport sector may well map into dynamic dead-weight losses because deregulation of the transport sector leads to more inefficient agglomeration. This latter change may, quite surprisingly, increase consumer prices in some regions, despite a more competitive transport sector. Transport deregulation is shown to map into aggregate consumer welfare losses and more inequality among consumers in the long run.

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File URL: http://www.cirje.e.u-tokyo.ac.jp/research/dp/2006/2006cf455.pdf
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Paper provided by CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo in its series CIRJE F-Series with number CIRJE-F-455.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2006
Handle: RePEc:tky:fseres:2006cf455
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  25. Bonanno, Giacomo, 1990. " General Equilibrium Theory with Imperfect Competition," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(4), pages 297-328.
  26. Teixeira, Antonio Carlos, 2006. "Transport policies in light of the new economic geography: The Portuguese experience," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 450-466, July.
  27. Ying, John S, 1990. "The Inefficiency of Regulating a Competitive Industry: Productivity Gains in Trucking Following Reform," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 191-201, May.
  28. Richard C. Levin, 1981. "Railroad Rates, Profitability, and Welfare Under Deregulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
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