Competition in Postal Service

  • Roger Sherman
  • Michael R. Frierman
Part of the Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy Series book series (TREP, volume 8)

Abstract

The largest public enterprise in the United States is the United States Postal Service (USPS), which claims to handle over 40% of the world’s mail. Revenues of USPS in fiscal 1989 totaled almost $40 billion, and the workforce numbered about 800,000. In its original department-of-government form, postal service allowed political representatives to satisfy their constituents so thoroughly as to confirm the prediction by Thomas Jefferson quoted above. Postal service has passed through remarkable changes since then, moving from reliance on equestrian skills to the use of high-tech optical sorting and from a department of government to a public enterprise form of organization. But further dramatic changes are now in prospect, and, for speeding the delivery of important messages, the daring of the pony express rider from the 1800s may be giving way to the cleverness of electronics engineers as we approach the twenty-first century.

Keywords

Private Supplier Uniform Rate Uniform Price Postal Service Monopoly Power 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Mie, Douglas K. 1977. An Evaluation of Postal Service Wage Rates. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.Google Scholar
  2. Adie, Douglas K. 1989. Monopoly Mail: Privatizing the US. Postal Service. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  3. Baumol, William J., John C. Panzar, and Robert D. Willig. 1988. Contestable Markets and the Theory of Industry Structure, rev. ed. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Brace Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  4. Christensen, Laurits R. and Associates, Inc. 1985. United States Postal Service Real Output, Input and Total Factor Productivity, 1963–1984. Report to the U.S. Postal Service.Google Scholar
  5. Coase, Ronald H. 1939. “Rowland Hill and the Penny Post.” Economica (November): 423–35.Google Scholar
  6. Coase, Ronald H. Coase. 1947. “The Economics of Uniform Pricing Systems.” Manchester School of Economic and Social Studies 15: 139–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Collier, Earl M., Jr., and George H. Bostick. 1972. `The Postal Reorganization Act: A Case Study of Regulated Industry Reform.“ Virginia Law Review (September): 1030–98.Google Scholar
  8. Dziadek, Fred. 1959. “The Productivity of the U.S. Post Office.” Ph.D. dissertation, Johns Hopkins University.Google Scholar
  9. Farhi, Paul. 1990. “Cost-Conscious Marketers Try Honing the Hype.” Washington Post (June 10).Google Scholar
  10. Faulhaber, Gerald R. 1975. “Cross Subsidization: Pricing in Public Enterprises.” American Economic Review 65: 966–77.Google Scholar
  11. Ferrara, Peter J., ed. 1989. Free the Mail. Washington, DC: Cato Institute.Google Scholar
  12. Fleishman, Joel L., ed. 1983. The Future of the Postal Service. New York: Praeger.Google Scholar
  13. Gilder, George. 1990. Life after Television. New York: Whittle.Google Scholar
  14. Gupta, Satinder Nadi. 1982. “Production and Cost Functions of the United States Postal Service.” Ph.D. dissertation, George Washington University.Google Scholar
  15. Hill, Sir Rowland, and George B. Hill. 1880. Life of Sir Rowland Hill and History of Penny Postage. I and I I. London: Thos. De La Rue and Co.Google Scholar
  16. Merewitz, Leonard. 1971. “Costs and Returns to Scale in U.S. Post Offices.”Journal of the American Statistical Association. (September): 504–509.Google Scholar
  17. Miller, James C., DI. 1990a. “A Critique of the Case Against Privatization of the U. S. Postal Service.” George Mason University Discussion Paper (April 2 ).Google Scholar
  18. Miller, James C., DI. 1990b. “Free the Mail, Part I.” In Ferraro (1989).Google Scholar
  19. Mirman, Leonard J., Y. Tauman, and I. Zang. 1985. “Supportability, Sustainability, and Subsidy-Free Prices. ”Rand Journal of Economics. 16: 114–26.Google Scholar
  20. Mussa, Michael, and Sherwood Rosen. 1978. “Monopoly and Product Quality,” Journal of Economic Theory. 18: 301–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Panzar, John C., and Robert D. Willig. 1977. “Free Entry and the Sustainability of Natural Monopoly.” Bell Journal of Economics. 8: 1–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Perloff, Jeffrey M., and Michael L. Wachter.1984. “Wage Comparability in the U.S. Postal Service.”Industrial and Labor Relations Review 38: 26–35.Google Scholar
  23. Priest, Dana, and Judith Haveman. 1989. “Mail Reform Languishes By the Book.” Washington Post (November 27): Al and A10.Google Scholar
  24. Priest, George L. 1975. “The History of the Postal Monopoly in the United States.”Journal of Law and Economics. 18:33–80.Google Scholar
  25. Quinn, Joseph F. 1979. “Postal Sector Wages.” Industrial Relations 18.Google Scholar
  26. Rich, Wesley Everett. 1924. The History of the United States Post Office to the Year 1829. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Robinson, Kenneth. 1980. `The Postal Service and Electronic Communications: Various Legal Issues and Sundry Open Questions.“ In Sherman (1980).Google Scholar
  28. Sherman, Roger. 1980. “Pricing Behavior of the Budget-Constrained Public Enterprise.” -Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. 4:381–93.Google Scholar
  29. Sherman, Roger, ed. 1980. Perspectives on Postal Service Issues. Washington, DC: American Enterprise Institute.Google Scholar
  30. Simone, Luisa. 1989. “E-mail, the Global Handshake.” PC Magazine. 8: 175–202.Google Scholar
  31. Smith, Sharon P. 1980. “Are Postal Workers Over or Underpaid?.” Industrial Relations. 15: 168–76.Google Scholar
  32. Smith, Sharon P. 1980. “Commentary on ‘How Have Postal Workers Fared Since the 1970 Act?.” In Sherman (1980).Google Scholar
  33. Srinagesh, Padmanabhan, and Ralph M. Bradburd. 1989. “Quality Distortion by a Discriminating Monopolist.” American Economic Review 79: 96–105.Google Scholar
  34. Stevenson, Rodney E. 1973. “Postal Pricing Problems and Production Functions.” Ph.D. dissertation, Michigan State University.Google Scholar
  35. U.S. Postal Service. 1973. “Statutes Restricting Private Carriage of Mail and Their Administration.” House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service, 93rd Congress, 1st session, Committee Print.Google Scholar
  36. Wattles, George M.1973. `The Rates and Costs of the United States Postal Service.“Journal of Law and Economics (April): 89–117.Google Scholar
  37. Waverman, Leonard. 1980. “Pricing Principles: How Should Postal Rates be Set.” In Sherman (1980).Google Scholar
  38. Willig, Robert D. 1980. “What Can Markets Control?.” In Sherman (1980).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roger Sherman
  • Michael R. Frierman

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations