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Regulatory reform in telecommunications in Central and Eastern Europe

Mark Armstrong () and John Vickers ()

The Economics of Transition, 1996, vol. 4, issue 2, 295-318

Abstract: In this paper we discuss public policy towards the telecommunications sector in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), focusing primarily on the need to ensure adequate capital investment. The analysis falls into two main parts: the regulation of monopoly, and policy on liberalization. Concerning regulation, we discuss how policy credibility is likely to be a problem in the region, and how reputational considerations, the design of regulatory institutions, and methods of price control can help to ameliorate this problem. Concerning liberalization, we consider the effects of potential competition on investment incentives, and construct a simple model to analyse the different effects of liberalization and regulatory risk on investment. Some preliminary policy conclusions are drawn, and we argue that in the CEE region – in contrast to more well developed countries – a reasonable case can be made for allowing a temporary period of monopoly for basic services.

Date: 1996
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