Trusting partnerships in a regulatory game: The case of suburban railway transport in Russia

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, mode - rail, organisation - regulation, ridership - behaviour


Trusting partnership, Organisational choice, Delegation, Railway reform, Suburban transport


The paper addresses the existing cross-regional diversity of delivery models in the sector of suburban passenger transportation in Russia by building a formal model of endogenous organisational choice. We develop a conceptual game-theoretic framework that allows for the trusting partnership to have become equilibrium in a regulatory bargaining game with delegation. The monopoly service provider initiates a more cooperative relationship with regional authorities by offering a share in the joint venture. The latter being benevolent welfare maximiser either accepts or rejects the offer taking into account transportation market characteristics, local budget constraints, information structure, as well as socio-economic and political factors. Once the partnership is formed the private information of the parties is revealed and information rent is eliminated creating the room for welfare improvement. However, ex ante rational organisational choice to form a trusting partnership may not lead to welfare improvement ex post. In the extended model we consider how concessionary passengers and fare-dodgers affect the bargaining outcomes. Our results can be generalized to characterize the diversity of organizational choices in the public sector.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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