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The impact of liner shipping trade and competition regulations on the market structure, maritime transport costs and seaborne trade flows

Abstract : This dissertation aims at assessing the impact of liner shipping trade and competition regulations on the market structure, prices, and seaborne trade flows. To quantify the overall level of trade restrictions in the liner shipping sector, I construct an original Service Trade Restrictiveness Index (STRI). The original STRI is included in a two-stage econometric analysis. Since barriers to trade are likely to influence seaborne trade through maritime transport costs (MTCs), in a first stage, I assess the impact of trade restrictions on MTCs. And, in a second stage I assess the impact of MTCs on seaborne trade flows. I show that barriers to trade affect positively MTCs and that MTCs affect negatively seaborne trade flows. Thus, barriers to trade have an indirect and negative impact on seaborne trade flows. Furthermore, I show that distance affects positively MTCs. The results also suggest that besides affecting negatively seaborne trade through MTCs, distance affect directly and positively seaborne trade. I assess the impact of regulatory barriers to entry on the market structure and MTCs. In a first stage, I assess the impact of regulations on the market structure. In a second stage, I assess the impact of the market structure on MTCs. I show that the presence of maritime conferences does not affect the number of carriers on routes while the presence of discussion agreements does. Moreover, when they reach a critical level, barriers to trade limit the number of carriers. Furthermore, I show barriers to trade affect MTCs through the market structure and marginal costs. Finally, I show that shipping exercise a market power even though this effect is small.
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Fabien Bertho. The impact of liner shipping trade and competition regulations on the market structure, maritime transport costs and seaborne trade flows. Economics and Finance. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po, 2012. English. ⟨NNT : 2012IEPP0020⟩. ⟨tel-03675986⟩

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