for Tim’s reading list about the early telephone system…

by on January 23, 2008 · 8 comments

Tim… You should quit reading that crap by John Brooks and read the authoritative history of the issue, you know, the one I wrote for the Cato Journal 14 years ago!…

Unnatural Monopoly: Critics Moments in the Development of the Bell System Monopoly,” Cato Journal, Vol. 14, No. 2, Fall 1994.

(P.S… I still have all the files I used to prepare that article, so if you need anything that appears in my bibliography, let me know. Most of it is not available online. What are you working on, anyway?)

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Thanks Adam. I’ve actually already printed that out and put it on my stack of stuff to read. Looks very interesting.

    I’m working on a paper on network neutrality regulation, which includes a section on regulatory capture, so I wanted to familiarize myself with the history of a few of the classic regulated industries—telephones, railroads, airlines, etc.

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Thanks Adam. I’ve actually already printed that out and put it on my stack of stuff to read. Looks very interesting.

    I’m working on a paper on network neutrality regulation, which includes a section on regulatory capture, so I wanted to familiarize myself with the history of a few of the classic regulated industries—telephones, railroads, airlines, etc.

  • Adam Thierer

    Ah. Well then, this old report by Crandall and Ellig might be helpful. You might also want to see if Gattuso can dig up a copy of the old 1992 “Competitiveness Council” report on the history of regulation. James did a lot of research for that report and he might have some leads for you. And I assume you’ve got a copy of Fred Kahn’s 2-volume masterwork “The Economics of Regulation.” Must reading on the topic. I can dig up the exact quotes from Kahn about regulatory capture if you need them. I used to use them in every paper I wrote about telecom policy in the 90s.

  • Adam Thierer

    Ah. Well then, this old report by Crandall and Ellig might be helpful. You might also want to see if Gattuso can dig up a copy of the old 1992 “Competitiveness Council” report on the history of regulation. James did a lot of research for that report and he might have some leads for you. And I assume you’ve got a copy of Fred Kahn’s 2-volume masterwork “The Economics of Regulation.” Must reading on the topic. I can dig up the exact quotes from Kahn about regulatory capture if you need them. I used to use them in every paper I wrote about telecom policy in the 90s.

  • Adam Thierer

    Actually, two of the best Alfred Kahn quotes regarding the cozy nature of the regulator-regulatee relationship appear in my old Cato Journal piece. Here they are (both of them are from his book The Economics of Regulation and page numbers are listed):

    “When a commission is responsible for the performance of an industry, it is under never completely escapable pressure to protect the health of the companies it regulates, to assure a desirable performance by relying on those monopolistic chosen instruments and its own controls rather than on the unplanned and unplannable forces of competition.” (p. 12)

    [and..]

    “Responsible for the continued provision and improvement of service, [the regulatory commission] comes increasingly and understandably to identify the interest of the public with that of the existing companies on whom it must rely to deliver goods.” (p. 46)

  • Adam Thierer

    Actually, two of the best Alfred Kahn quotes regarding the cozy nature of the regulator-regulatee relationship appear in my old Cato Journal piece. Here they are (both of them are from his book The Economics of Regulation and page numbers are listed):

    “When a commission is responsible for the performance of an industry, it is under never completely escapable pressure to protect the health of the companies it regulates, to assure a desirable performance by relying on those monopolistic chosen instruments and its own controls rather than on the unplanned and unplannable forces of competition.” (p. 12)

    [and..]

    “Responsible for the continued provision and improvement of service, [the regulatory commission] comes increasingly and understandably to identify the interest of the public with that of the existing companies on whom it must rely to deliver goods.” (p. 46)

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Looks good. Thanks!

  • http://www.techliberation.com/ Tim Lee

    Looks good. Thanks!

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