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The Impact of "Deregulation" on Regulator Behavior: An Empirical Analysis of the Telecommunications Act of 1996

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  • Gregory L. Rosston

    ()
    (Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research)

  • Scott J. Savage

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Colorado)

  • Bradley S. Wimmer

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines how regulators set local prices in response to the changes brought on by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (“Telecom Act”). We are particularly interested in the extent to which state regulators set prices that promoted efficiency or were influenced by private-interest groups who had secured rents under a regime of regulated monopoly. Using regional Bell operating company (RBOC) data, our empirical results indicate that private interests continue to influence the structure of retail and wholesale prices, although their influence appears to be waning. We find that changes to the regulatory structure, as measured by federal approval of RBOC Section 271 applications that open up markets to competition and universal service subsidies, resulted in a re-balancing of retail prices and lower overall price levels.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 05-006.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:05-006

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    Related research

    Keywords: competition; political contributions; private interest; public interest; regulation; telecommunications; universal service;

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    1. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2002. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," United Kingdom Stata Users' Group Meetings 2003 02, Stata Users Group.
    2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
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    4. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
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    8. Daniel Ackerberg & Michael Riordan & Gregory Rosston & Bradley Wimmer, 2009. "Low-Income Demand for Local Telephone Service: Effects of Lifeline and Linkup," Discussion Papers 08-047, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, revised Aug 2009.
    9. Smart, Susan R, 1994. "The Consequences of Appointment Methods and Party Control for Telecommunications Pricing," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 301-23, Summer.
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    14. Abel, Jaison R, 2002. "Entry into Regulated Monopoly Markets: The Development of a Competitive Fringe in the Local Telephone Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 289-316, October.
    15. Karen Palmer, 1992. "A Test for Cross Subsidies in Local Telephone Rates: Do Business Customers Subsidize Residential Customers?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(3), pages 415-431, Autumn.
    16. Eriksson, Ross C & Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W, 1998. "Targeted and Untargeted Subsidy Schemes: Evidence from Postdivestiture Efforts to Promote Universal Telephone Service," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 477-502, October.
    17. Kaserman, David L & Mayo, John W & Flynn, Joseph E, 1990. "Cross-Subsidization in Telecommunications: Beyond the Universal Service Fairy Tale," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 231-49, September.
    18. Christopher R. Knittel, 2004. "Regulatory Restructuring and Incumbent Price Dynamics: The Case of U.S. Local Telephone Markets," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 614-625, May.
    19. Maher, Maria E., 1999. "Access costs and entry in the local telecommunications network: a case for de-averaged rates," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 593-609, May.
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