Optimal Abolition of FCC Spectrum Allocation
Ronald Coase based his 1959 call for spectrum markets on theoretical conjecture. Today abundant evidence supports his case. Targeted liberalization in cellular markets, as contrasted with regulatory planning of the digital TV transition and other traditional policies, suggest enormous efficiency gains are available from wider use of "the price system." With exclusive frequency rights assigned to owners, markets widely reconfigure spectrum use, coordinating complex spectrum sharing. Resulting social gains include increased consumer surplus from enhanced technological innovation and wireless service competition. A social bonus arrives in the benefits associated with wider scope for free speech. Yet, the administrative allocation system continues to distribute rents and garner political support. Liberal reforms, in contrast, produce large but broadly dispersed efficiency gains and are undersupplied. This paper proposes an incremental extension of property rights in spectrum to move beyond the current rent-seeking equilibrium, eliminating the Federal Communications Commission's centralized spectrum allocation process and, with it, an "attractive nuisance" generating anticonsumer outcomes.
Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/jep/|
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: https://www.aeaweb.org/subscribe.html|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Herzel, Leo, 1998. "My 1951 Color Television Article," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 523-27, October.
- R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
- Peter Cramton, 2002. "Spectrum Auctions," Papers of Peter Cramton 01hte, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 16 Jul 2001.
- repec:reg:rpubli:123 is not listed on IDEAS
- Melody, William H, 1980. "Radio Spectrum Allocation: Role of the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 393-97, May.
- Hazlett Thomas W & Ibarguen Giancarlo & Leighton Wayne, 2007. "Property Rights to Radio Spectrum in Guatemala and El Salvador: An Experiment in Liberalization," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(2), pages 437-484, December.
- Paul Klemperer, 2000.
"What Really Matters in Auction Design,"
Economics Series Working Papers
2000-W26, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Cramton, Peter & Kwerel, Evan & Williams, John, 1998.
"Efficient Relocation of Spectrum Incumbents,"
Journal of Law and Economics,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 647-75, October.
- Coase, R H, 1998. "Comment on Thomas W. Hazlett: Assigning Property Rights to Radio Spectrum Users: Why Did FCC License Auctions Take 67 Years?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 577-80, October.
- Hazlett, Thomas W, 1998. "Assigning Property Rights to Radio Spectrum Users: Why Did FCC License Auctions Take 67 Years?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 529-75, October.
- Minasian, Jora R, 1975. "Property Rights in Radiation: An Alternative Approach to Radio Frequency Allocation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(1), pages 221-72, April.
- anonymous, 1978. "Communication," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(9), pages 919-919, May.
- Smith, Henry E, 2002. "Exclusion versus Governance: Two Strategies for Delineating Property Rights," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages S453-87, June.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:22:y:2008:i:1:p:103-128. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jane Voros)or (Michael P. Albert)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.