A Framework for Considering the Social Value of Postal Services

Research Report

A Framework for Considering the Social Value of Postal Services

Abstract

The objective of this study, commissioned by the Postal Regulatory Commission, was to identify the array of benefits provided by the United States Postal Servicethrough its mail service and post officesthat contribute to the social value of the post. We provide a framework that categorizes benefits, beneficiaries, and measures. We also identify possible metrics and methods for estimating the value of these benefits. Research in community and economic development supports the concept of post offices as community assets and of the value of social connectedness and civic engagement, two social benefits frequently associated with postal services. This study provides an organizing scheme for detailed analysis and quantification in the future.

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