Article

Competition For Versus In the Market of Long-Distance Passenger Rail Services

Frédéric Cherbonnier, Marc Ivaldi, Catherine Muller-Vibes, and Karine Van Der Straeten

Abstract

This paper is aimed at evaluating the net gains and trade-offs at stake in implementing the competition of the rail mode in the long distance passenger market either by means of franchise or by an open access mechanism. We simulate the outcomes of competition in and for the market using a differentiated-products oligopoly model allowing for inter- and intra-modal competition in a long distance passenger market. Specifically we first calibrate the model using data describing high speed lines in France and show that the incumbent railway operator’s strategy does not simply boil down to a short-term profit maximization (e.g., because of existing regulation or limit-pricing strategy). This yields two important results when simulating competition. First, whether it is for or in the market, the opening to competition does not guarantee a decrease in prices in favor of passengers. Second, the effects of opening up to competition for the market are relatively predictable and potentially positive, while those of opening up to competition in the market remain very uncertain.

Keywords

Intermodal competition; Oligopoly model; Open access;

JEL codes

  • L13: Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
  • L90: General
  • R40: General

Replaces

Frédéric Cherbonnier, Marc Ivaldi, Catherine Muller-Vibes, and Karine Van Der Straeten, Competition For Versus In the Market of Long-Distance Passenger Rail Services, TSE Working Paper, n. 18-901, March 19, 2018, revised April 2018.

Reference

Frédéric Cherbonnier, Marc Ivaldi, Catherine Muller-Vibes, and Karine Van Der Straeten, Competition For Versus In the Market of Long-Distance Passenger Rail Services, The Review of Network Economics, vol. 16, n. 2, June 2018, pp. 203–238.

Published in

The Review of Network Economics, vol. 16, n. 2, June 2018, pp. 203–238