By Paul Eric Teske
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Extra info for After Divestiture: The Political Economy of State Telecommunications Regulation
The revenue shortfall can be made up by increased usage rates. Most empirical studies of LMS have shown this to be true (Crew and Dansby, 1983; Bell Communications Research 1984; although Johnson and Park, 1986 suggest otherwise, depending on local characteristics). The proper economic methodology for recovery of these costs is by Ramsey pricing. Some economists suggest that in practice, the Ramsey price adjustment to cover common telephone costs would roughly offset the downward adjustment in access prices to account for the network externalities (Ordover and Willig, 1983; Perl, 1985).
Most proponents of this view will agree that the actual distribution of access costs to these other services is arbitrary, but they promote minutes of peak usage as a reasonable distributional criterion. Advocates of this view also argue that toll calls should contribute to the recovery of NTS costs. In addition, a Rand study has challenged the established view of economists that local measured service is efficient, as digital technology makes switching costs miniscule (Johnson and Park, 1986).
Studies after divestiture, however, have found that many firms are considering further bypass (Kraemer, 1985). This argument is flawed, however, because several new consulting firms, staffed with extelephone company engineers, can provide telecommunications management functions for large users. Or, they could have mixed elements of these different policies. If regulators change rates gradually, but not too slowly, they can avoid largescale uneconomic bypass and then monitor the changes in telecommunications markets as the prices are adjusted.