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Jules Dupuit and the railroads: what is the role of the State?

Philippe Poinsot

Working Papers from HAL

Abstract: In the nineteenth century, the emergence of railroads in France resulted in new analytical issues, as they are natural monopolies. Jules Dupuit examined the issue of the operations of the railroad sector on several occasions (1853, 1861 and 1862). He would seem to have defended two contrasting positions, opening the way for debate among commentators. In this communication, I attempt to restore the consistency of Dupuit's positions on the railroads. In the first section, I distinguish between competition as an ideal and the feasibility of competition in the railroad sector; this distinction is implicit in Dupuit's work, but it helps us to grasp that, in his opinion, unlimited competition is not possible in the railroads and that it is not necessarily beneficial to the welfare of society. The State should therefore regulate the railroad sector either by State management or through concessions. In the second section, I specify the conditions under which he believed the State should manage the railroads sector instead of offering concessions to private companies.

Keywords: regulation; natural monopoly; Jules Dupuit; railroads; competition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-04-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-his and nep-hpe
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.science/hal-00736078
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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Related works:
Journal Article: JULES DUPUIT AND THE RAILROADS: WHAT IS THE ROLE OF THE STATE? (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Jules Dupuit and the railroads: what is the role of the State? (2016) Downloads
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