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

Regulatory reform, competition, and innovation - a case study of the Mexican road freight industry

Listed author(s):
  • Dutz, Mark A.
  • Hayri, Aydin
  • Ibarra,Pablo

Discussions of competition and regulatory reform typically focus on price and quantity effects. But improving certain infrastructure services can also stimulate entry, and competition in user industries downstream, allowing new firms to enter, incumbent users to offer new products, and rivalry to intensify. The authors present a case study of how innovations in road freight services affect selected downstream users of those services after regulatory reform. After a period of rigid regulation, and heavy government interference, Mexico in 1989 developed a new policy framework for road transport, with free entry, and market-based price setting. The result: faster, more reliable trucking has allowed user companies to offer new, previously unavailable products, and to reach new areas with existing products. Cheaper, more customer-responsive trucking services have allowed logistical innovations in user firms, and some user firms have decided not to keep their own fleets of trucks, but to outsource trucking services on the open market, thereby converting fixed costs to variable costs. For one fertilizer company, the benefits of reform included a ten percent improvement in operating margin. Successful reform requires careful planning and execution, and political support at high levels. Regulatory reform also profoundly changes the sectoral institution formerly responsible for the regulation. Enough resources should be provided to help organizations in the reformed industry make the transition to the post-reform environment - helping with such tasks as defining the organization's new role, and facilitating the redeployment of staff. The national competition agency can help greatly in laying the groundwork for reform by making a compelling case for the reform's expected benefits. After reform, the competition agency should also help with enforcement, to ensure that the cozy, cartel-like behavior stimulated by tight entry restrictions does not persist. In Mexico, three strong interventions were required to discipline attempted anti-competitive practices in the trucking industry in the years following reform.

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 The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2318.

in new window

Date of creation: 30 Apr 2000
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2318
Contact details of provider: Postal:
1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

Phone: (202) 477-1234
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:wbk:wbrwps:2318. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

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.