Ann F. Friedlaender

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

NBER Working Papers and Publications

September 1991Rail Costs and Capital Adjustments in a Quasi-Regulated Environment
with Ernst R. Berndt, Judy Shaw-Er Wang Chiang, Mark Showalter, Christopher A. Vellturo: w3841
This paper reports on results obtained from the estimation of a rail cost function using a pooled-time series, cross section of Class I railroads for the period 1974-1986. An analysis is performed of short-run and long-run returns to scale, the extent of capital disequilibrium, and adjustments to way and structures capital in the heavily regulated and quasi-regulated environments before and after the passage of the Staggers Act in 1980. In general, it is found that there is considerable overcapitalization in the rail industry and that this has persisted in spite of the regulatory freedom provided by the Staggers Act.

Published: Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, vol. 27, no.2 May 1993, pp. 131- 152

June 1991Mergers, Deregulation and Cost Savings in the U.S. Rail Industry
with Ernst R. Berndt, Judy Shaw-Er Wang Chiang, Christopher A. Vellturo: w3749
The success of deregulation in creating a viable private rail freight system in the ?U.S. since 1979 is relatively undisputed. Deregulation has proceeded in three ways: (i) eased rate setting restrictions; (ii) simplified merger applications and approval procedures; and (iii) relaxed route abandonment policies. In this paper we attempt to disentangle the effects of deregulation on rail costs from those directly attributable to mergers and acquisitions. We employ a translog variable cost function, based on an unbalanced panel data set of annual observations for major U.S. Class I railroads from 1974 to 1986. We find that both deregulation and mergers contributed significantly to cost savings. However, of the accumulated cost savings achieved by the six major firms involved in mergers post-d...

Published: "Cost Effect of Mergers and Deregulation in the U.S. Railroad Industry", Journal of Productivity Analysis, vol 4, no.2 1993, pp. 127-144

June 1990Interdependent Pricing and Markup Behavior: An Empirical Analysis of GM, Ford and Chrysler
with Ernst R. Berndt, Judy Shaw-Er Wang Chiang: w3396
Our purpose in this paper is to develop and estimate a model of the US automobile industry that can be used to analyze the secular and cyclical strategic markup behavior and market structure of its three major domestic producers - - GM, Ford and Chrysler. The principal novelty in this paper is not such much in the underlying theory (we build on what Timothy Bresnahan has called the "new empirical industrial organization" literature), but rather in the actual empirical implementation of a multi-equation model sufficiently general to permit the testing of a variety of specific behavioral postulates associated with the interdependent strategic profit-maximizing behavior of GM, Ford and Chrysler. Using firm-specific annual data from 1959-83, we find that at usual levels of statistical signific...
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