I evaluate railroad price discrimination in three periods: 1870–1886, before the passage of the Interstate Commerce Act; 1945–1975, when rates were regulated but railroads faced extensive intermodal competition; and 1980–2010, after the passage of major regulatory reforms. While price discrimination was widespread in each period, the specific practices varied as the nature of competition, regulation, and the information available to decision-makers changed. The Act focused heavily on price discrimination, and limited some practices while encouraging others. One major weakness of the Act was the restrictions that were imposed on pricing practices that could lead to cost reductions and productivity improvements.
Review of Industrial Organization – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 17, 2013
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