Moving Beyond Dichotomy: Comparing Composite Telecommunications Regulatory Governance Indices

20 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2012 Last revised: 19 Jul 2017

See all articles by Brandie Martin Nonnecke

Brandie Martin Nonnecke

University of California, Berkeley

Krishna Jayakar

Pennsylvania State University

Date Written: March 29, 2012


Despite an apparent consensus about the importance of sound telecommunications regulatory governance, there is no agreement among researchers about how to measure it. While dichotomous coding of de jure independence has served as a proxy to measure whether an agency’s regulatory governance is transparent, non-arbitrary, and free from political influence, we view measuring multiple components of regulatory governance through an index as providing a more nuanced understanding of facilitating or inhibiting factors. This paper builds extensively upon prior research on telecommunications regulatory governance in order to compare the composite telecommunications regulatory governance indices (TRGI) available in the literature, and to construct more parsimonious indices. Using a methodology labeled “qualitative meta-synthesis” based on synthesizing previously published indices, we construct six different indices using combinations of 32 different variables, and different weights. Data from the OECD database are used to re-create the five original indices from the literature as well as our own six composites. These indices are correlated with each other, and with independent measures of regulatory governance such as the World Bank’s Government Effectiveness Index and the Rule of Law Index. The results suggest that a parsimonious index of as few as seven variables is capable of measuring the quality of telecommunications governance in a country, at the same time making the selection of variables and their weighting in the index more systematic than in previously available indices.

Keywords: governance, regulation, telecommunications, telecommunications index, OECD, TPRC

Suggested Citation

Nonnecke, Brandie Martin and Jayakar, Krishna, Moving Beyond Dichotomy: Comparing Composite Telecommunications Regulatory Governance Indices (March 29, 2012). 2012 TRPC, Available at SSRN: or

Brandie Martin Nonnecke (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Krishna Jayakar

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

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