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The Impact of Deregulation on America's Infrastructure Industries: A "Process Model" with Illustrations from Banking

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  • Paul Hirsch
  • Steven Klinkerman
  • Michael Lounsbury
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    Abstract

    How much have critical industries in America changed since their deregulation during the 1980s and 1990s? This paper presents a "process model" of the dramatic shifts experienced by key firms and key industries--from state-supported near-monopolies, to the lower prices and greater choice offered by new entrants, to a shakeout period (large mergers, exits) tentatively restoring the earlier "equilibrium." This process is reviewed, from the experiences of such deregulated industries as: airlines, banking, telecommunications, and electrical utilities, with a more detailed illustration from the banking sector. We trace (1) the initially high volatility, in both their economic performance and management capabilities; followed by (2) the arrival of new entrants (e.g., Southwest Airlines, Nationsbank, CNN, and Enron); and then, (3) a move towards new equilibria, in which the earlier stability is now closely approached and more easily re-established.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University in its series IPR working papers with number 98-13.

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    Handle: RePEc:wop:nwuipr:98-13

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