Striving to Deliver: Commercialization and Performance in Ireland's Postal Sector

15 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018

See all articles by Catríona CAHILL

Catríona CAHILL

University of Limerick

Donal Palcic

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Eoin Reeves

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School

Date Written: September 2018

Abstract

In 1984 the Irish postal service was corporatized from the Civil Service as An Post – a new commercial state‐owned enterprise. Focusing on the period 1984–2014 we examine the performance of An Post in the context of changes to its capital market status, competitive environment and internal organisation. Our analysis finds that during an ongoing process of commercialization the company recorded steady improvements in economic performance measured by both labour and total factor productivity. This trend of improvement ended in 2007 mainly due to the wider economic recession and increased levels of indirect competition from sources including electronic substitution of traditional mail. Looking forward, the scope for further improvements in productivity appears limited due to indirect competition and the requirement to provide a universal service. The future financial viability of An Post looks uncertain given the scale of challenges around these issues.

Keywords: Public enterprise, commercialization, productivity, An Post, postal services, Ireland

JEL Classification: D24, L32, L87

Suggested Citation

CAHILL, Catríona and Palcic, Donal and Reeves, Eoin, Striving to Deliver: Commercialization and Performance in Ireland's Postal Sector (September 2018). Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Vol. 89, Issue 3, pp. 527-542, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3233188 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/apce.12178

Catríona CAHILL (Contact Author)

University of Limerick

Castletroy, Co
Limerick
Ireland

Donal Palcic

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland

Eoin Reeves

University of Limerick - Kemmy Business School ( email )

Limerick
Ireland

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