Cover: New technologies, competition and the postal service

New technologies, competition and the postal service

Published 1978

by Bridger M. Mitchell

Purchase Print Copy

 Format Price
Add to Cart Paperback8 pages $20.00

The Postal Service confronts market structure issues faced by regulated monopolies in other industries, but changing technology raises other problems: nearly all the new technology is developing outside the Postal Service's monopoly market. A key question becomes whether the Postal Service should enter the new electronic communications market. For customers the impact of new technology will be felt in first-class mail rates; the Service will lose the financial and business message market to new services, and resultant decline in mail volume will increase unit costs and require higher rates. The outlook is for a rapidly changing market structure in which cream-skimming will occur on a grand scale; the protection of a regulatory commission to prevent entry into vulnerable markets is lacking. The alternative is to become a major supplier of electronic communications, yet the Service is unlikely to obtain cost advantages needed to succeed in competition with other suppliers. (Presented at American Enterprise Institute's Conference on Postal Services Issues, Washington, D.C., October 1978.).

This report is part of the RAND paper series. The paper was a product of RAND from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.