How to restructure natural monopolies. Especially railways.
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How to restructure natural monopolies. Especially railways.

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How to restructure natural monopolies. Especially railways. How to restructure natural monopolies. Especially railways. Presentation Transcript

  • How to Restructure Natural Monopolies. Especially Railways. Russell Pittman Visiting Professor, New Economic School NES Guest Lectures Supported by E&Y Polytechnic Museum, 6 April 2011 The views expressed are not represented to be those of the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. Government ,
  • Traditional treatment of natural monopolies in market economies
    • What are “natural monopolies”?
      • Industries subject to such economies of scale that it would be inefficient to have competition
      • Typically some kind of “network industry”
      • Examples: electricity, telecommunications, natural gas, railways, water supply
  • Traditional treatment of natural monopolies in market economies (continued)
    • Who should own and control natural monopolies?
      • In most countries, traditionally owned and controlled by the state
      • In the US and UK, often owned by private shareholders but regulated by the state
      • Privatization and restructuring now the dominant global trend
  • Traditional treatment of natural monopolies in market economies (continued)
    • Regulator or government sets prices: wL + gM + rK = pQ
    • Appears logical, straightforward
    • But problems:
      • No penalty for inefficiency
      • No reward for efficiency
      • Wasteful disputes among lawyers and experts, especially regarding r and K
      • Political pressures to increase L, use local M
  • Addressing the problems of regulation
    • One alternative: improve regulation
      • “ Incentive regulation”, price caps
    • Second alternative: substitute competition for regulation
      • Growing appreciation of the benefits of competition: lower prices and more innovation
      • Growing appreciation of the limitations of bureaucratic knowledge
      • Technological changes have made “monopoly” less “natural”
  • Competition in “natural monopolies”? SECTOR Electricity Natural gas Telecoms Railways NETWORK: MONOPOLY? Long distance transmission lines, local distribution lines Long distance pipelines Local “loop” – fixed wire service to households and businesses Track and signalling COMPETITIVE? Generation: natural gas, coal, hydro, nuclear Exploration and production Long distance, mobile, internet Trains
  • But competitive elements cohabit uneasily with monopoly networks…
    • How restructure the overall sector?
    • US telecommunications sector
    • First, 3 rd party access
      • MCI competed with AT&T for long distance, while AT&T maintained local service monopoly
      • AT&T discriminated against MCI in order to favor its own long distance service
    • Then U.S. v. AT&T : Vertical separation
      • AT&T forced to give up local service in order to insure fair competition in long distance
  • The typical policy debate
    • Economists and reformers prefer vertical separation
      • Removes incentives for network operator to discriminate – as in U.S. v. AT&T
    • Incumbents prefer 3 rd party access
      • Maintains economies of vertical integration
      • May be implemented gradually
      • Interesting puzzle: why did economists and reformers underemphasize economies of vertical integration?
    • Other options? Horizontal separation – competition among smaller, vertically integrated companies?
    • Status quo? Was it really so bad?
  • Is there a “best” policy?
    • Probably not. “One size does not fit all.”
      • World Bank has retreated from previous strong emphasis on vertical separation .
    • Depends on the sector being restructured
      • Economies of vertical integration
      • Economies of scale in “competitive” part
        • What’s worse than one monopoly? Two monopolies.
    • Depends on the country and its institutions
      • Level of development
      • Rule of law, especially independence of courts
      • Abilities of regulators
  • Is there a “best” policy? (continued)
    • Depends on the specific goals of restructuring
      • Increased efficiency?
      • Increasing innovation?
      • Attracting private investment?
      • Reducing economic power of giants?
        • “ Too big to fail”
      • Reducing political power of giants?
        • “ Too big to regulate”
  • Russian Railways
  • How to Restructure a Vertically Integrated Monopoly Railway?
    • Economists’ favorite: Vertical Separation
      • UK, Sweden, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, parts of Australia
      • Removes incentives to discriminate in providing access to infrastructure
    • Railways’ (grudging) favorite: 3 rd Party Access
      • Germany, Austria, Italy, Chile, parts of Australia
      • Maintains economies of vertical integration: “where steel meets steel”
  • How to Restructure a Vertically Integrated Monopoly Railway? (continued)
    • North and South America’s favorite: Horizontal Separation
      • USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil
      • Parallel competition where possible
        • Chicago to Los Angeles? BNSF or UP
        • Montreal to Vancouver? CN or CP
      • “ Geographic competition” otherwise
        • Imported steel to Mexico City? KCSM from Monterrey (or Laredo), Ferromex from Manzanillo (or El Paso), Ferrosur from Veracruz
  • Russian Federation?
    • Adopt a Western model?
      • "Our institutions and all of that are like birch trees that we’ve thrust in the ground on the St. Trinity Day to make it look like a forest that grew naturally in Europe.” Levin, in Anna Karenina
      • "There you have it -- reforms on unprepared ground, and copied from foreign institutions as well – nothing but harm!" The Devil, in Ivan’s dream, in The Brothers Karamazov
    • Adopt its own model?
      • “ God created Russia in order to show the world what not to do.” attributed to Chaadaev, but it appears that what he really said was:
      • “ We are one of those nations, which do not appear to be an integral part of the human race, but exist only in order to teach some great lesson to the world.” First Philosophical Letter
  • RZhD’s 3-Stage Structural Reform Program of 2001
    • First stage: 2001-2003
      • Creation of joint-stock company RZhD
      • Separation of commercial from regulatory functions
      • Divestiture of non-core activities
  • RZhD’s 3-Stage Structural Reform Program of 2001
    • Second Stage: 2003-2005
      • Creation of “daughter companies”
        • general freight, specialized freight, passenger, commuter, repair
      • Implementation of non-discriminatory conditions for access to independent train operators
      • Replacement of freight-to-passenger cross-subsidies with transparent government subsidies
  • RZhD’s 3-Stage Structural Reform Program of 2001
    • Third Stage: 2006-2010
      • Partial or complete privatization of subsidiary companies
      • “ Develop competition in the freight traffic sphere”
        • “ Estimate the opportunities of setting up several railway companies, competing and vertically integrated”
  • “ Competition in the freight traffic sphere”?
    • Some progress
      • Daughter companies created, some perhaps to be divested
      • Limited access to independent train operating companies (TOCs, or in Russia “carriers”)
      • Large-scale private ownership of rolling stock
  • “ Competition in the freight traffic sphere”?
    • But significant hurdles remain
      • Continuing cross-subsidies required in both freight and passenger operations
      • Continuing absence of laws, decrees regulating infrastructure access by TOCs
        • One critical distinction: operators vs. carriers
      • “ Common carrier” requirements
      • Current tariff regulations: very high infrastructure component (= access charge)
  • “ Competition in the freight traffic sphere”? Current status
    • Reformers argue for vertical separation
    • RZhD and government have allowed a special Russian version of 3 rd party access
      • Both independent operators and RZhD daughters (Freight One, Freight Two, others) own rolling stock, deal with shippers
      • But trains run with RZhD locomotives: Vertical separation , but with locomotives remaining part of monopoly infrastructure
    • Horizontal separation off the table?
  • RZhD’s Strategy for Railway Development to 2030
    • First stage, 2008-2015: “Modernization”
      • Replacement of depreciated rolling stock
      • Technological upgrades to entire system, including electrification and expanding BAM
    • Second stage, 2015-2030: “System Expansion”
      • International transportation corridors
      • Trans-Siberian and BAM
  • The Future
    • Will there ever be 3 rd party access in the European sense?
    • If so, will 3 rd party access evolve into vertical separation ?
    • Does system expansion – especially of BAM – make horizontal separation more feasible?