Developing a National Wireless Regulatory Framework: A Law and Economics Approach

16 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2008

See all articles by Thomas Randolph Beard

Thomas Randolph Beard

Auburn University - Department of Economics

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

Abstract

In this article, 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 wireless framework

JEL Classification: K23, L51, L96, O38

Suggested Citation

Beard, Thomas Randolph and Ford, George S. and Koutsky, Thomas M. and Spiwak, Lawrence J., Developing a National Wireless Regulatory Framework: A Law and Economics Approach. CommLaw Conspectus - Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1175402

Thomas Randolph Beard

Auburn University - Department of Economics ( email )

415 W. Magnolia
Auburn, AL 36849-5242
United States

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)

HOME PAGE: http://www.phoenix-center.org

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