Analyzing the Prospects for Transactional Mail Using a Sender-Recipient Framework

  • Philippe De Donder
  • Helmuth Cremer
  • Frank Rodriguez
  • Soterios SoteriEmail author
  • Stefan Tobias
Part of the Topics in Regulatory Economics and Policy book series (TREP, volume 50)


Letter volumes in countries with advanced postal networks have been in decline since the early to mid-2000s. The principal cause of this decline has been the substitution of paper communications by electronic methods (e-substitution). However, analyses of letter volumes in the USA and UK (see USPS 2010; PwC 2013) suggest that the impact of e-substitution has varied widely across different content types of mail (e.g., advertising mail and transactional mail) and within transactional mail by different segments of traffic. In particular, the UK study concludes that while some segments of transactional mail have largely moved on line others are just beginning this transition. Understanding the processes at work in the development of e-substitution and assessing how their effects differ across different types of transactional mail is of major importance to postal operators and policy makers.


Consumer Surplus Final Good Final Demand Communication Method Marginal Cost Price 
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  1. Borsenberger, C., Cremer, H., De Donder, P., & Joram, D. (2015). Quality and pricing of delivery services in the e-commerce sector. In Postal and Delivery Innovation in the Digital Economy. Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.Google Scholar
  2. De Donder, P., Cremer, H., Rodriguez, F., Soteri, S., & Tobias, S. (2014). Analysing the prospects for transactional mail using a sender-recipient framework. IDEI Working Paper, no: 830. Available at
  3. USPS. (2010). Projecting US mail volumes to 2020.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philippe De Donder
    • 1
  • Helmuth Cremer
    • 2
  • Frank Rodriguez
    • 3
  • Soterios Soteri
    • 4
    Email author
  • Stefan Tobias
    • 4
  1. 1.Toulouse School of Economics (IDEI & GREMAQ-CNRS)ToulouseFrance
  2. 2.Toulouse School of Economics (IDEI, GREMAQ and Institut Universitaire de France)BloisFrance
  3. 3.OxeraOxfordUK
  4. 4.Royal Mail GroupLondonUK

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