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Privatization and Universal Service Obligations

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Telecommunications, airlines, and postal services have similar economic features. However, they have followed different privatization patterns. While privatization of the universal service provider (USP) is common in telecommunications and airlines, it is by far less frequent in the postal sector. This paper analyzes how the size of the universal service obligation (USO) and the mechanisms traditionally used to finance it have prevented privatization in the postal sector. By using a model of a mixed duopoly, we explain that privatization is inversely related to the cost of public funds for USO transfers and to the size of the USP's reserved area.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2009

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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