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Optimal pricing of postal services under endogenously determined entry

Kevin Currier

Economics Bulletin, 2012, vol. 32, issue 4, 3503-3511

Abstract: Postal reform (liberalization) is occurring rapidly around the world, perhaps most notably in the EU where January 1, 2011 was the date of Full Market Opening (FMO). As a strategy for maintaining the Universal Service Obligation (USO) under FMO, several authors suggest that the sale of access to competitive entrants may provide the universal service provider with significant opportunities to enhance revenues. In a single postal product context, Crew and Kleindorfer (2011) provide conditions under which competitive entry via access is welfare superior to entry via bypass (the Theorem on the Superiority of Access). In this paper, we show that in the single product context, the Laspeyres price cap-based regulatory adjustment process of Vogelsang and Finsinger (1979) may be adapted to determine optimal access-inducing prices, thereby fulfilling the USO efficiently. We also discuss a number of potential problems associated with extending the Theorem on the Superiority of Access and the Vogelsang-Finsinger price capping procedure to a multiproduct context.

Keywords: Postal liberalization; access; bypass; universal service obligation; price cap (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L5 L8 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-12-28
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