A number of authors have argued that the divestiture of AT & T did not reduce the rates of long distance telephone companies as often believed. However, the literature has offered few explanations as to why competition has not lowered rates. This study argues that rates have failed to fall due to the importance of search and switching costs in the industry. Using a panel data set of rates for the three largest long distance carriers, stretching from 1984 to 1993, a reduced form equation is specified to empirically test for the influence of search and switching costs on the price cost margin of the three carriers. The results illustrate that both search and switching costs have provided long distance carriers with market power.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 29, 2004
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