nep-reg New Economics Papers
on Regulation
Issue of 2015‒07‒11
eight papers chosen by
Natalia Fabra
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  1. 'Better regulation': a bureaucratic simplification with political designs By Eric van den Abeele
  2. Postal strategies in a digital age By Christian Jaag; Urs Trinkner; José Parra Moyano
  3. Should we extract the European shale gas? The effect of climate and financial constraints By Fanny Henriet; Katheline Schubert
  4. The EU's REFIT strategy: a new bureaucracy in the service of competitiveness? By Eric van den Abeele
  5. Commercial and regulatory challenges for postal e-services in Switzerland By Christian Jaag; Martin Maegli; Denis Morel
  6. Online Copyright Enforcement, Consumer Behavior, and Market Structure By Luis Aguiar; Jorg Claussen; Christian Peukert
  7. Cryptocurrencies: New Opportunities for Postal Financial Services By Christian Jaag; Christian Bach
  8. Designing a new EU-Turkey strategic gas partnership By Simone Tagliapietra; Georg Zachmann

  1. By: Eric van den Abeele
    Abstract: This Working Paper aims to shed light on the machinations behind recent developments regarding the Better Regulation agenda. How should we interpret the Commission’s insistence on relentlessly attacking its own legislation? Why does it constantly refer to the costs, yet never once mention the benefits? Eric van de Abeele, who has already written several publications on the subject, has taken an in-depth look at seven key components of the Better Regulation agenda with a view to unveiling the Commission’s real intentions.
    Keywords: EU legislation
    Date: 2015–05
  2. By: Christian Jaag; Urs Trinkner; José Parra Moyano
    Abstract: Electronic communications impact all of postal operators’ businesses. While letter mail volumes are decreasing due to electronic substitutes, parcels are thriving. Postal operators react in differ-ent ways to these challenges and opportunities. Some try to compensate the loss in their mail business by converging their services toward telecommunications, e.g. by offering hybrid or electronic mail. Some focus on parcels and electronic commerce solutions. Some try to reduce their universal service obligations and try to cut costs. Some leverage their networks, e.g. post offices into banks or retail centers, or mail carriers into community service providers. And many apply a mix of those strategies. This paper explores various approaches by means of selected case studies and an overview of performance indicators. The indicators reveal particularly successful strategies, namely those that leverage infrastructure, reputation and competencies. Based on the results, generic strate-gies are derived. Special attention is given to the legal and regulatory environment which criti-cally affects the post’s ability to adopt a successful business strategy.
    Keywords: Postal Sector, Strategy, Electronic Substitution
    JEL: L43 L51
    Date: 2015–06
  3. By: Fanny Henriet (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS); Katheline Schubert (EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics, CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS)
    Abstract: In the context of the deep contrast between the shale gas boom in the United States and the recent ban by France of shale gas exploration, this paper explores whether climate policy justifies developing more shale gas, taking into account environmental damages, both local and global, and addresses the question of a potential arbitrage between shale gas development and the transition to clean energy. We construct a Hotelling-like model where electricity may be produced by three perfectly substitutable sources: an abundant dirty resource (coal), a non-renewable less polluting resource (shale gas), and an abundant clean resource (solar). The resources differ by their carbon contents and their unit costs. Fixed costs must be paid for shale gas exploration, and before solar production begins. Climate policy takes the form of a ceiling on atmospheric carbon concentration. We show that at the optimum tightening climate policy always leads to bringing forward the transition to clean energy. We determine conditions under which the quantity of shale gas extracted should increase or decrease as the ceiling is tightened. To address the question of the arbitrage between shale gas development and the transition to clean energy, we assume that the social planner has to comply to the climate constraint without increasing energy expenditures. We show that when the price elasticity of electricity demand is low, a binding financial constraint leads to an overinvestment in shale gas and postpones the switch to the clean backstop. We calibrate the model for Europe and determine whether shale gas should be extracted, depending on the magnitude of the local damage, as well as the potential extra amount of shale gas developed because of a financial constraint, and the cost of a moratorium on extraction.
    Date: 2015–06
  4. By: Eric van den Abeele
    Abstract: This Working Paper provides a clear but critical assessment of the EU’s process of simplification and qualitative improvement of the ‘acquis’, a process originally known as ‘Better Law-making’, subsequently as ‘Smart regulation’ and, in its latest incarnation, as ‘Regulatory Fitness and Performance (REFIT)’.
    Keywords: EU legislation
    Date: 2014–09
  5. By: Christian Jaag; Martin Maegli; Denis Morel
    Abstract: Swiss Post has been innovating for years, strengthening its expertise as an actor in the digital world and exploiting the unique selling propositions it owns in the physical world. The emergence of the internet in combination with gradual liberalization has given rise to new customer needs, increased and changing competition as well as new business models in the postal sector. The rationale for Swiss Post’s investment in postal e-services is twofold: First, new ser-vices may enhance the value of traditional services by adding complementary services; second, they may compensate losses due to the progressing substitution of physical letter mail which progresses at a rate of about 2 percent per year. This paper documents digital postal services in Switzerland in the context of the postal regulatory and business environment. The paper wraps up the development of postal e-services in Switzerland, puts it in a commercial and regulatory perspective and provides an outlook to future developments.
    Keywords: Postal Sector, Strategy, Electronic Substitution, Switzerland, Regulation
    JEL: L43 L51
    Date: 2015–06
  6. By: Luis Aguiar (European Commission - JRC - IPTS); Jorg Claussen (Copenhagen Business School); Christian Peukert (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Taking down copyright-infringing websites is a way to reduce consumption of pirated media content and increase licensed consumption. We analyze the consequences of the shutdown of the most popular German video streaming website - - in June 2011. Using individual-level clickstream data, we find that the shutdown led to significant but short-lived declines in piracy levels. The existence of alternative sources of unlicensed consumption, coupled with the rapid emergence of new platforms, led the streaming piracy market to quickly recover from the intervention and to limited substitution into licensed consumption. Our results therefore present evidence of a high elasticity of supply in the online movie piracy market, together with relatively low switching costs for users of copyright infringing platforms. The fact that the post-shutdown market structure was much more fragmented - and therefore more resistant to future interventions - further questions the effectiveness of the intervention.
    Keywords: Anti-Piracy Intervention, Copyright, Movie Industry, Natural Experiment
    JEL: K42 L82 O34 O38
    Date: 2015–01
  7. By: Christian Jaag; Christian Bach
    Abstract: Contrary to traditional currencies, cryptocurrencies neither have physical form nor are they guaranteed or backed by any central authority. They simply attain value by usage and the confidence of those participating in the respective system. A crypto-payment-system is a technology which allows for payments between individuals digitally with-out relying on central institutions, intermediaries or further infrastructure as required for conventional payment systems. While its legitimacy as currency has been questioned due to its high exchange rate volatility, the significant potential of the Bitcoin technology as a payment system is undeniable. As postal operators typically have a role as financial intermediaries and act in an inter-national and increasingly digital environment, crypto-payment-systems may be of par-ticular interest to them. In fact, as the post has a wide network of access points and is highly trusted by the general public, it may be well-suited to offer services which coun-ter some disadvantages of crypto-payment systems and cryptocurrencies, while retain-ing the benefits of their technology. By turning to crypto-payment-systems postal opera-tors may extend their role as a financial intermediary with new domestic and interna-tional services. Furthermore, postal operators may even issue their own cryptocurrency to protect customers from the high exchange-rate volatility of cryptocurrencies.
    Keywords: Postal Sector, Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, Financial Services, Financial Inclusion
    JEL: L43 L51
    Date: 2015–06
  8. By: Simone Tagliapietra; Georg Zachmann
    Abstract: â?¢ The European Commissionâ??s February 2015 Energy Union Communication calls for intensified work on the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC) and the establishment of a new strategic energy partnership with Turkey. The presence of the European Union and Turkey in the region is complementary in a number of ways. Building on this could unlock the regionâ??s gas export potential and make gas supplies to the EU and Turkey more secure. â?¢ The EU should establish dedicated energy diplomacy taskforces with Turkey and each potential supplier in the region (Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Kurdistan Region of Iraq). This would allow the EU and Turkey to make use of their complementary diplomatic leverages to overcome barriers to regional gas trade. â?¢ In parallel, the EU should establish with Turkey a dedicated financing mechanism to facilitate gas infrastructure investments, with a primary focus on the upgrade of the Turkish gas grid. The European Investment Bank might play a role in attracting private and institutional investors through its financing tools. â?¢ The four â??EU-Turkey Energy Diplomacy Taskforcesâ?? and the â??EU-Turkey Gas Infrastructure Financing Initiativeâ?? would be initiatives of the recently started EU-Turkey Strategic High Level Energy Dialogue
    Date: 2015–07

This nep-reg issue is ©2015 by Natalia Fabra. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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