Discounting Telephone Service: An Examination of Participation in the Lifeline Assistance Program Using Panel Data

Information Economics and Policy, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 135-149

37 Pages Posted: 6 Feb 2007 Last revised: 6 Jan 2009

See all articles by Janice Alane Hauge

Janice Alane Hauge

University of North Texas

Mark A Jamison

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center

R. Todd Jewell

Texas State University, San Marcos - Department of Finance and Economics

Date Written: 2008

Abstract

This paper examines a unique public assistance program, the Lifeline Assistance Program, to consider factors that cause people to not participate in a program that provides them with financial benefits. Lifeline is a nationwide program created by the Federal Communications Commission to provide price discounts to low-income telephone subscribers. Recently there has been concern that program participation rates are too low. Using county-level data from Florida, we consider reasons why a large number of Floridians who qualify for the program are not signing up. We find that access to alternative modes of communications, such as mobile phones, decrease participation. We also find that certain demographic factors affect participation in the program, and that significant discrepancies in participation exist across counties. Furthermore, we find that the reason for these cross-county discrepancies appears to be county specific rather than telecom-carrier specific.

Suggested Citation

Hauge, Janice Alane and Jamison, Mark A. and Jewell, R. Todd Todd, Discounting Telephone Service: An Examination of Participation in the Lifeline Assistance Program Using Panel Data (2008). Information Economics and Policy, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 135-149. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=960763

Janice Alane Hauge

University of North Texas ( email )

1155 Union Circle #305340
Denton, TX 76203
United States
940-565-4544 (Phone)

Mark A. Jamison (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Warrington College of Business Administration, Public Utility Research Center ( email )

PO Box 117142
Gainesville, FL 32611
United States
352-392-6148 (Phone)
352-392-7796 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://warrington.ufl.edu/purc/facultyinfo.asp?WEBID=1217

R. Todd Todd Jewell

Texas State University, San Marcos - Department of Finance and Economics ( email )

San Marcos, TX 78666
United States

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