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Review of Network Economics

Editor-in-Chief: Grzybowski, Lukasz

Ed. by Briglauer, Wolfgang / Goetz, Georg / Pereira, Pedro

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Volume 13, Issue 4


Reforming the Postal Universal Service

Axel Gautier
  • University of Liege (ULg), HEC Management School, LCII (lcii.eu), and CORE, Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jean-Christophe Poudou
Published Online: 2015-10-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rne-2015-0001


The postal sector has undergone dramatic changes over the recent years under the double effect of ongoing liberalization and increased competition with alternative communication channels (e-substitution). As a result, the mail volume handled by the historical operator has declined sharply while the latter’s ability to match the same standard of universal service may be under threat. Thus, a reform of the postal universal service is on the agenda. This paper examines possible reforming options ranging from keeping universal service within the postal sector to redefining universal service as spanning postal and electronic technologies.

Keywords: digitalization; postal market; universal service

JEL: L51; L86; L87


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About the article

Corresponding author: Jean-Christophe Poudou, LAMETA, University of Montpellier and LabEx “Entreprendre”, Montpellier, France, e-mail:

Published Online: 2015-10-19

Published in Print: 2014-12-01

Citation Information: Review of Network Economics, Volume 13, Issue 4, Pages 453–477, ISSN (Online) 1446-9022, ISSN (Print) 2194-5993, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rne-2015-0001.

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