Switching costs have received increasing attention from academics and practitioners in recent years.Although the implications of switching costs for consumers and firms have been well-documented in the literature, less attention has been paid to studying the consequences of switching costs for public policy. In general, switching costs have been shown to reduce market competition leading to higherprices, lower product and service quality, higher entry barriers and lower customer welfare. In order to gain more insight into the study of switching costs from a regulatory perspective and to evaluate the need for the regulator to intervene in the market, this study extends prior research in this field by measuring switching costs at the customer-level and investigating the switching costs distribution in the mobile phone market. The study results reveal that switching is costly in the mobile phone industry and that switching costs are highly heterogeneous among consumers. Implications for public policy are discussed.Switching costs, public policy, mobile phone services, multilevel modeling
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