Matthias Finger

Director of the Transport Area
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Matthias Finger is a Part-time Professor at the Florence School of Regulation. He was a Professor of Management of Network Industries and is since July 2020 an Emeritus Professor at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

After having been Assistant Professor at Syracuse University, New York (1989-1991) and Associate Professor at Columbia University, New York (1992-1994), Matthias Finger was appointed Full Professor at the Swiss Graduate School of Public Administration in Lausanne in 1995. There he developed his research on the transformation of network industries in the postal, telecommunications, railways, electricity, air transport, and water sectors. In his research, he reconciled the liberalization of these sectors with public service objectives by means of new regulatory arrangements, while at the same time promoting a more entrepreneurial behavior of the operators. Matthias was appointed to his present position of Full Professor at the EPFL in October 2002. As of 2018, he is a visiting professor at Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, Turkey. Matthias edits the Journal Competition and Regulation in Network Industries and is in charge of special editions of Utilities Policy for Elsevier.

Matthias received his Ph.D. in Political Science in 1988 and his Ph.D. in Education in 1986, both from the University of Geneva.

Since 2010 he is Part-time professor at the EUI and director of Transport Area of The Florence School of Regulation (FSR Transport).  

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Research Projects at FSR Transport

FSR Transport was awarded two research grants from the European Parliament for research studies:

  • The role of regulation in preparing transport for the future (2016): the study conducted by the Transport Area of the Florence School of Regulation is part of a three-papers project commissioned by the TRAN Committee of the European Parliament to answer the initial question “World is changing, does transport follow? “. The (more and more urban) European population is growing and ageing. Mobile information and communication technologies are developing rapidly. Global competition and the fight against climate change are pressing. These developments all have an impact on transport as a whole. As this paper shows, mobility needs and patterns evolve; new transport services/systems emerge; transportation technologies aim to become more ‘environmentally-efficient’. This transformation challenges the existing transport sector’s structure and governance and calls for major changes in the regulatory framework.
  • Infrastructure funding challenges in the sharing economy (2017): the study analyses the disruption created by shared mobility in the funding of transport infrastructure. While recognising the benefits of shared mobility in terms of reduction of private car use, the study identifies that there might be short-term negative effects on the revenues of long distance railway and coach operators. It also points out other potential risks, which include capturing the revenues through commissions charged by platforms mediating mass-transit services (Mobility as a Service), freeriding and lower tax contributions. The study makes recommendations to reduce these risks.

Under the direction of Matthias Finger, FSR Transport has completed two major research projects on railway regulation analysis. The related research reports are now both openly accessible:

Coordinated by FSR Transport, in January 2015 the four Area Directors of the Florence School of Regulation published the FSR Manifesto: An EU agenda for the upcoming 5 years of regulation of infrastructures. The FSR Manifesto is the first systematic attempt that the FSR has done to critically reflect upon the achievements of the second Barroso Commission in the various network industries. It also endeavours to establish a realistic outlook onto the challenges that await the Juncker Commission in the areas of energy, communications and media, transport and water regulation in terms of regulatory policy.

Recent Publications

More on Matthias Finger

Air Transport Liberalisation: European Aviation Conference 2017 & New book by Prof Matthias Finger and Prof Ken Button
Air Transport Liberalisation: European Aviation Conference 2017 & New book by Prof Matthias Finger and Prof Ken Button

FSR Transport Advisor Professor Kenneth Button will discuss at the European Aviation Conference in Dublin, taking place 13th and 14th of…

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