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Main Title: Railway Reform in Germany: Restructuring, Service Contracts, and Infrastructure Charges
Translated Title: Bahnreform in Deutschland: Restrukturierung, Verkehrsverträge und Trassenpreise
Author(s): Peter, Benedikt
Advisor(s): Mitusch, Kay
Granting Institution: Technische Universität Berlin, Fakultät VII - Wirtschaft und Management
Type: Doctoral Thesis
Language: English
Language Code: en
Abstract: We analyse the reform process in the German railway sector. We take a look at the process and the outcome of the reform and compare it with the theoretical findings. The regionalisation of the regional rail passenger services is of a special importance to us. We scrutinise the contracts for the provision of these services and try to find interrelations between the different contract elements. A further emphasis is placed on the influence of the European Commission on the reform process. We analyse the European Commissions policy on railway infrastructure charges and the charging principles to be found in the member states. In the following we summarise the contents of the three subsequent chapters. In chapter 2, we analyse the rail reform process that started in the year 1994. Our focus is set on the long-distance passenger transport and the freight transport, while the regional rail passenger transport is left to chapter 3. We identify the main stakeholders and their interests. The negotiations between the politicians and the managers of the railway company in the reform process are analysed using a bargaining model. Assuming opportunistic behaviour of politicians, we explain some issues of the railway reform in Germany. We adapt a model which was developed by Shleifer & Vishny in 1994. Public firms are seen as a vehicle for the government to win elections. State-owned enterprises produce benefits for the politicians in the form of excess employment or other output. If the government chooses to cut its control over the firm, there is still the possibility to influence the firm by subsidies. We present some evidence that the model’s prediction were realised with the corporatisation in 1994. It can be acknowledged as far as the employment is concerned, as it rapidly decreased after 1994. In long-distance passenger transport and in freight transport, restructuring processes were pursued. The performance in both segments decreased after 1994, at least in terms of market shares. There is also evidence that infrastructure was closed down after the commercialisation. However, the effect of the commercialisation on the infrastructure is not as eminent as for the employment or the transport services, as a total closing down of rail infrastructure has to be approved by the authorities. Another question is whether the commercialisation of the DB AG led to an increase in subsidies, as predicted by the model. We find that the model’s predictions are ambiguous if there is a simultaneous increase in the political costs of subsidies, which is quite likely to have happened. As a part of the reform of the German rail sector, the organisation of the local and regional rail services was changed in 1996. The intention was to create a more transparent procurement of the transport services. In chapter 3, we describe the institutional framework and the market structure. Our special focus is on the design of the contracts between the public authorities and the railway undertakings. These contracts are analysed using a unique data base. They exhibit a remarkable heterogeneity not only in terms of duration and network size but also concerning the degree of service specification and risk allocation. We try to establish interrelations between some design features of the contracts. In a first regression, we find that the contract duration is dependent on the annual train kilometres, the time span between the publishing of the tender and the start of the services, and the provision of public instruments to mitigate the risk from rolling stock investment. For a second estimation, we create a measure for the completeness of the service contracts. We find that the completeness is determined by the time span between the publishing of the tender and the start of the services, the provision of demand information, and the obligation to become a member of the regional public transport association. The rail infrastructure of each of the European Union’s member states is used by different rail undertakings. The allocation of this infrastructure capacity is done using charging systems. The European Commission has strived to open the railway markets since the beginning of the 1990s by influencing the price regulation. The core element of the “First Railway Package” was a directive to shape the charging systems across the member states. In chapter 4, we identify standard pricing principles do be used for rail infrastructure. The economic aims of the pricing principles are contrasted with the content of the above mentioned directive. Scrutinizing the charging systems of different member states it is found that there is a broad variety in terms of the level of charges and their structure. We use the theoretical and empirical findings to formulate recommendations to enhance the rail infrastructure charging systems.
URI: urn:nbn:de:kobv:83-opus-18705
Exam Date: 30-Apr-2008
Issue Date: 23-May-2008
Date Available: 23-May-2008
DDC Class: 330 Wirtschaft
Subject(s): Institutionenökonomie
Infrastructure Charges
Institutional Economics
Transaction Costs
Appears in Collections:Inst. Volkswirtschaftslehre und Wirtschaftsrecht (IVWR) » Publications

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