- Advances in Regulatory Economics series
Edited by Michael A. Crew and Paul R. Kleindorfer
Chapter 10: Towards a 21st Century Postal Service
10. Towards a 21st century postal service John C. Panzar† 24 1 INTRODUCTION The global financial crisis accelerated a secular decline in postal sector volumes and finances. It now seems unlikely that either will recover along with the wider economy. Therefore, it is an appropriate time to reassess the role of the postal sector in the US going forward and to analyze the guiding principles under which it should be organized. This is the purpose of this chapter. It seems that the cyclical downturn in mail volumes caused by the global financial crisis may finally have triggered the secular decline in volumes that has long been predicted. While this may signal the beginning of a painful period of adjustment for the Postal Service and its employees, it does not mean that postal sector issues are no longer important. Even a declining postal sector remains a vital part of a nation’s transportation and communications infrastructure. Public policy during the forthcoming transition period remains vitally important. Indeed, I would argue that the task is no less urgent because the postal sector may be a ‘declining industry’. The same can be said of the railroad industry in the twentieth century. By the end of that century, railroads had clearly lost the dominant place in the US economy that they had enjoyed in 1900. Yet their role remained crucial, nevertheless. More importantly for the present discussion, their decline was managed very poorly from the perspective of public policy. It is important that this saga...
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.