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Product-Market Competition in the Water Industry: Voluntary Non-discriminatory Pricing


Foellmi, R; Meister, U (2005). Product-Market Competition in the Water Industry: Voluntary Non-discriminatory Pricing. Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, 5(2):115-135.

Abstract

Since franchise bidding in the piped water industry is problematic due to extensive investment requirements, product-market competition or common carriage is a valuable alternative for the introduction of competition. This paper analyses product-market competition by considering a simple model of interconnection where competition is introduced between vertically integrated neighbouring water suppliers. The model contains water markets specificities such as local and decentralised networks and related difficulties of regulating access charges. Even without any regulation, we show that: (i) an inefficient incumbent will give up its monopoly position and lower the access price far enough so that the low-cost competitor can enter his home market; (ii) efficiency of production will rise due to liberalisation; and (iii) in contrary to prejudicial claims, investment incentives are not destroyed by the introduction of competition for the market. Investments of low-cost firms may even increase.

Since franchise bidding in the piped water industry is problematic due to extensive investment requirements, product-market competition or common carriage is a valuable alternative for the introduction of competition. This paper analyses product-market competition by considering a simple model of interconnection where competition is introduced between vertically integrated neighbouring water suppliers. The model contains water markets specificities such as local and decentralised networks and related difficulties of regulating access charges. Even without any regulation, we show that: (i) an inefficient incumbent will give up its monopoly position and lower the access price far enough so that the low-cost competitor can enter his home market; (ii) efficiency of production will rise due to liberalisation; and (iii) in contrary to prejudicial claims, investment incentives are not destroyed by the introduction of competition for the market. Investments of low-cost firms may even increase.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2005
Deposited On:28 Apr 2008 09:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:23
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1566-1679
Additional Information:The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s10842-005-3722-0
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-2432

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