Table of Contents

Reforming the Postal Sector in the Face of Electronic Competition

Reforming the Postal Sector in the Face of Electronic Competition

Advances in Regulatory Economics series

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer

In our increasingly technology-focused world, demand for traditional postal services is steadily shrinking. This timely volume examines the many challenges that the worldwide postal sector is facing as a result of growing electronic competition, and offers expert recommendations for reshaping postal structures to strengthen their competitiveness in an electronic age.

Chapter 5: A new governance model for US postal services

James I. Campbell Jr

Subjects: economics and finance, public sector economics


The United States Postal Service (USPS) is on the brink of collapse. Staggered by debts that it cannot repay, USPS is seeking legislative relief while threatening radical retrenchment. In Congress, prospective decline has evoked sharply contrasting visions of the future of the post. For some members of Congress, six-day, high-quality postal service to every corner of the country remains necessary to ‘bind the Nation together’ – the lifeline for those on the wrong side of the ‘digital divide’, the anchor of small and rural communities, the backbone of a vast subsector of the economy. For others, USPS is a bloated federal bureaucracy built for a bygone era – too many offices, too frequent deliveries, an excessive and overpaid workforce, run by a political board incapable of ‘right sizing’ a business being overtaken by new technologies. Neither vision commands a majority of lawmakers. Current proposals only postpone fundamental reform, while giving postal management detailed, but dubious, instructions on how to run a national postal system. This chapter proposes a more promising approach. Legislators, it will be argued, should focus less on what future postal services should entail and more on how such questions should be decided. A wiser strategy for governing the postal sector will provide a sounder and more enduring basis for managing postal services in the future.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information