Welfare effects of the Telecommunication Reform in Mexico
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© 2017 Elsevier LtdThe telecommunication sector in Mexico was highly concentrated until 2013. The sector was mostly composed by a dominant player, a rationed market (low density of services), a poor institutional design, high tariffs, and weak regulation agents. The Herfindahl-Hirschman (HHI) index was 5333 for mobile telephone and 7,029 for fixed telephone services¿among the highest scores in the world. In order to promote competition in the sector, Congress approved a reform in 2013 to establish a new regulator empowered to impose asymmetrical rules in the case of the predominance of a single firm. A declaration of preponderance of the dominant player was issued, promoting free interconnection rates and the mandatory sharing of its passive and active infrastructure with the rest of the firms in the industry. The new institutional design led to increased competition in the sector, decreasing the mobile and fixed telephone prices while increasing the coverage and penetration of these services. In this article, an applied general equilibrium model for the Mexican economy is employed to assess the impact of the Telecommunication Reform in Mexico in the telephone sector, consumer welfare, and income distribution. The model is static, encompassing 10 types of consumers (rural and urban and the five income quintiles) and 40 sectors (of which four are disaggregate telecommunications industries). It assumes fixed wages and capital rental prices as well as idle resources. The main results indicate that the effects of the reform are not minor; the drop in telephone prices would reduce the general consumer price index by almost 2%, and the value added would increase by more than 3%, benefiting mainly households in the highest income quantiles.