تخصیص طیف در امریکا لاتین: تجزیه و اقتصادی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|28497||2009||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11690 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Information Economics and Policy, Volume 21, Issue 4, November 2009, Pages 261–278
As elsewhere, wireless markets play a crucial role in Latin American economic growth. Mobile telephone networks increasingly provide the communications infrastructure that has largely been lacking throughout the region. Yet, governments have generally made only modest allocations of bandwidth available to Latin American wireless operators, either absolutely (in terms of spectrum each country could allocate at modest opportunity cost) or relative to countries in North America, Asia and the European Union. Using an empirical model estimated on mobile phone data for international markets, we show that very large social benefits are available to countries that make more spectrum available for mobile phone markets. We conduct simulations using our calibrated model to provide lower bounds for country-by-country gains from larger allocations. We also discuss the impact of alternative regulatory regimes on the feasibility to achieve those social gains.
Wireless services are growing rapidly. In Latin America, as in other developing markets, mobile phone networks are supplying valuable social overhead capital (SOC), stimulating economic growth. Waverman et al. (2005, p. 18), studying African economies, find that “[d]ifferences in the penetration and diffusion of mobile telephony certainly appear to explain some of the differences in growth rates between developing countries… there are also increasing returns to the endowment of telecoms capital (as measured by the telecoms penetration rate)… Our analysis suggests the need for regulatory policies that favour competition and encourage the speediest rollout of mobile telephony.” This conclusion builds on the widespread view that telecommunications networks are key components of SOC (Hardy, 1980, Leff, 1984, Norton, 1992 and Greenstein and Spiller, 1996), and recent studies showing that wireless technologies are strong drivers of developing country growth.1 Yet, spectrum policies in Latin America are, on the whole, extremely conservative. This appraisal reflects both the structure of regulation, and the quantitative outcome. On average, by 2003 Latin American countries allocated only about 100 MHz to mobile phone carriers’ licenses, compared with a mean of about 266 MHz in the European Union.2 Some of the differential is attributable to demand differences, but controlling for those factors we still find a statistically significant restriction on valuable bandwidth imposed across both sets of markets. Given substantial amounts of unutilized bandwidth, the opportunity costs of more generous cellular allocations are typically quite modest. Two Latin American countries, Guatemala and El Salvador, liberalized their spectrum regimes via far-reaching legislative measures enacted in 1996 and 1997, respectively. Wireless markets in both countries appear relatively robust, exhibiting high degrees of competitiveness, as measured by industry concentration and retail prices. Other Latin American countries, while not undertaking such ambitious reforms, have initiated policies that distinguish their wireless markets. These include Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua and Paraguay. The experience of these nations may inform policy makers as to what might be achieved, and offers data for public choice scholars wishing to explain the divergence in regulatory regimes – a pursuit we do not undertake herein. The primary task of this paper is to evaluate the Latin American spectrum policies now in place, an analysis we divide into four parts (Sections 2, 3, 4 and 5). First, in Section 2, we provide a diagnostic analysis revealing the primary spectrum under-allocation problem confronting Latin American mobile services markets. We also define alternative regulatory regimes, providing a taxonomy for reform measures that alter bandwidth allocations by traditional administrative actions versus policy liberalization granting wireless rights-holders greater scope for accessing and utilizing airwaves. In Section 3 we then present a model that tracks the relationship between spectrum policies and retail mobile market results (prices and outputs), empirically calibrating the model using a panel consisting of 28 countries for the period 1Q1999-2Q2003. These estimates are then, in Section 4, used in simulations that forecast the social value of enhanced spectrum allocations for mobile phone service in six of the largest Latin American nations. We find that, in response to an increase of 20 MHz, the average change in consumer surplus in our sample is approximately US$50 per capita. This magnitude is over 10 times the average marginal revenue in regional countries employing wireless license auctions (on a per capita per MHz basis), suggesting that the social gains are of very substantial magnitude, and accrue overwhelmingly to consumers’ surplus rather than to mobile operator profits. In Section 5 we consider the prospects for achieving such welfare gains under alternative regulatory structures. The gains described above could be realized via policies instituted by fiat under the administrative allocation systems now in place. Alternatively, statutory reforms may eliminate regulatory discretion, forcing a regime shift. We also explain that the important link between a liberalization of licensee property rights (granting greater degrees of freedom in utilizing allocated bandwidth) and the expansion of spectrum allocations (increasing the bandwidth allocated for use by mobile operators). We then offer a brief conclusion.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Most Latin American countries appear to inefficiently constrain access to radio spectrum. In a model calibrated via cross-country differentials in frequency allocations and retail mobile phone rates, we find substantial social gains available from removing such limits. Policy reform, which entails an expansion of administrative allocations or more general liberalization measures, can be pursued either by independent regulatory actions or via statute. Regulators in Chile and Paraguay have administratively made relatively generous bandwidth available for mobile phone use. Guatemala and El Salvador, enacting statutory reforms in the 1990s, more fundamentally liberalized their regimes. Networks in both countries utilize relatively abundant bandwidth under rules allowing discretion in the deployment of services and technologies. Such policies accommodate productive use of radio spectrum, lowering mobile phone rates and increasing consumer welfare. Yet, our simulations for six of the largest Latin American markets suggest that the social value of increasing mobile spectrum allocations is still high – on average, US$53.70 per capita for an increment of 20 MHz. Since there are no competing economic employments for such bands, which effectively lie fallow, additional allocations would produce the proverbial “free lunch.” Why public policy makers rarely exploit such opportunities is an excellent question for further analysis. More generally, the relationship between spectrum policy measures and retail market outcomes has been little studied. Scholars and regulators would benefit from greater visibility over the linkages between policy inputs and economic welfare outputs. We hope that this research paper might stimulate more interest in this endeavor.