Multi-Modal Competition and the Future of Mail
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Multi-Modal Competition and the Future of Mail

Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer

This compilation of original papers selected from the 19th Conference on Postal and Delivery Economics and authored by an international cast of economists, lawyers, regulators and industry practitioners addresses perhaps the most significant problem that has ever faced the postal sector – electronic competition from information and communication technologies. This has increased significantly over the last few years with a consequent serious drop in mail volume.
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Chapter 24: Accounting for Behavioral Biases for Non-biased Demand Estimations

Meloria Meschi and Carla Pace


333 P P1 D2 D1 0 Figure 24.1 Q2 Q1 Q Example of shift in demand due to a change in demand shifters price increases; (ii) for a given price level, a change in demand shifters causes a shift of the demand curve (see Figure 24.1). To use an example relevant to the postal sector, when broadband prices drop, the demand for letter mail would fall at any given mail price: when price is P1, the quantity demanded would fall from Q1 to Q2. In this example, the slope of the demand does not change when the curve shifts. According to traditional economic theory, therefore, the willingness to pay of individual consumers reflects their underlying rational preferences and does not depend on, or change with observed prices. This framework has particular consequences for modeling the demand by Homo economicus, not only in terms of what drives demand, but also in terms of how these drivers actually affect the quantities Homo economicus wants to buy and the value he derives from what he is buying. We discuss below how these prescriptions can be translated into empirical models of demand.6 3 EMPIRICAL TESTING BASED ON TRADITIONAL DEMAND ANALYSIS Homo Economicus and Reservation Prices The process by which rational consumers decide whether and how much to purchase of any given good is quite straightforward: they compare the market price7 to their reservation price and only buy the good if its price is lower than or equal to8 the reservation price. The modeling of...

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