The Reform of Network Industries
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The Reform of Network Industries

Evaluating Privatisation, Regulation and Liberalisation in the EU

Edited by Massimo Florio

Network industries such as electricity, gas, rail, local public transport, telecommunications and postal services are recognised by the EU as crucial for fostering European social and territorial cohesion. Providing an overview of key policy reforms in these industries and an empirical evaluation, this thought-provoking book offers a critical perspective on the functioning of the networks that provide vital services to EU citizens.
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Chapter 9: The changing nature of railways in Europe: empirical evidence on prices, investments and quality

Giovanni Esposito, Julia Doleschel, Tobias Kaloud and Jadwiga Urban-Kozlowska


This chapter focuses on the transformations of the European rail sector over the last decades and is organized in two parts. First, it describes the change by providing a historical overview of the reform context, referring to the main aspects of the organizational change experienced by the European rail industries. Second, it assesses the change by empirically investigating the way regulatory innovations have influenced prices, investments and quality of European rail services between 1996 and 2013. On the one hand, it shows that, despite the formal improvement of market access regulation, in several European countries reforms have achieved mixed results and state-controlled structures still play a crucial role in the organization and management of rail industries. On the other, our empirical outcomes show that unlike reformers’ taken-for-granted beliefs on this topic, there is no clear evidence that liberalization reforms are correlated with lower prices for rail service users.

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