An Economic Approach for Evaluating a National Wireless Regulatory Framework

Phoenix Center Policy Bulletin No. 19

14 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2007

See all articles by George S. Ford

George S. Ford

Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies

Thomas Koutsky

USAID Global Development Lab

Lawrence J. Spiwak

Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

In this Policy Bulletin, we provide a focused economic analysis of the welfare effect of state and local regulation on communications services and, in particular, on the wireless segment of the telecommunications industry. We find that when local regulation in one jurisdiction has sufficiently large "extra-jurisdictional" effects in other locations, overall social welfare can be reduced even if state and local governments act as efficient regulators. This finding is important because it shows that the debate over the proper regulatory framework for the wireless industry need not be driven by an assessment of which set of regulators, federal or state, is more competent. Accordingly, because state and local regulation in the wireless industry has the tendency to spill across borders, our analysis suggests that society is likely better to be off with a single, national regulatory framework for wireless services.

Keywords: wireless, Federalism, national framework, telecommunications

JEL Classification: K23, L51, L96, L98, O38,

Suggested Citation

Ford, George S. and Koutsky, Thomas M. and Spiwak, Lawrence J., An Economic Approach for Evaluating a National Wireless Regulatory Framework (October 2007). Phoenix Center Policy Bulletin No. 19, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1030368 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1030368

George S. Ford

Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies ( email )

5335 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Suite 440
Washington, DC 20015
United States

Thomas M. Koutsky

USAID Global Development Lab ( email )

1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Lawrence J. Spiwak (Contact Author)

Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal & Economic Public Policy Studies ( email )

5335 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Suite 440
Washington, DC 20015
United States
202-274-0235 (Phone)
202-318-4909 (Fax)

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