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Spectrum allocation in Latin America: An economic analysis

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  • Hazlett, Thomas W.
  • Muñoz, Roberto E.

Abstract

As elsewhere, wireless markets play a crucial role in Latin American economic growth. Mobile telephone networks increasingly provide the communications infrastructure that has largely been lacking throughout the region. Yet, governments have generally made only modest allocations of bandwidth available to Latin American wireless operators, either absolutely (in terms of spectrum each country could allocate at modest opportunity cost) or relative to countries in North America, Asia and the European Union. Using an empirical model estimated on mobile phone data for international markets, we show that very large social benefits are available to countries that make more spectrum available for mobile phone markets. We conduct simulations using our calibrated model to provide lower bounds for country-by-country gains from larger allocations. We also discuss the impact of alternative regulatory regimes on the feasibility to achieve those social gains.

Suggested Citation

  • Hazlett, Thomas W. & Muñoz, Roberto E., 2009. "Spectrum allocation in Latin America: An economic analysis," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 261-278, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:21:y:2009:i:4:p:261-278
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hardy, Andrew P., 1980. "The role of the telephone in economic development," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 278-286, December.
    2. Faulhaber, Gerald R., 2006. "The future of wireless telecommunications: Spectrum as a critical resource," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 256-271, September.
    3. Plümper, Thomas & Troeger, Vera E., 2007. "Efficient Estimation of Time-Invariant and Rarely Changing Variables in Finite Sample Panel Analyses with Unit Fixed Effects," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 15(02), pages 124-139, March.
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    5. Norton, Seth W, 1992. "Transaction Costs, Telecommunications, and the Microeconomics of Macroeconomic Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(1), pages 175-196, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Thomas W. Hazlett & Roberto E. Muñoz, 2009. "A welfare analysis of spectrum allocation policies," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 40(3), pages 424-454.
    8. 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 529-575, October.
    9. Leff, Nathaniel H, 1984. "Externalities, Information Costs, and Social Benefit-Cost Analysis for Economic Development: An Example from Telecommunications," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(2), pages 255-276, January.
    10. Thomas W. Hazlett, 2008. "Optimal Abolition of FCC Spectrum Allocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 103-128, Winter.
    11. Dasgupta, Susmita & Lall, Somik & Wheeler, David, 2001. "Policy reform, economic growth, and the digital divide - an econometric analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2567, The World Bank.
    12. Shane M. Greenstein & Pablo T. Spiller, 1996. "Estimating the Welfare Effects of Digital Infrastructure," NBER Working Papers 5770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. El-Moghazi, Mohamed & Whalley, Jason & Irvine, James, 2014. "International spectrum management regime: Is gridlock blocking flexible spectrum property rights?," 20th ITS Biennial Conference, Rio de Janeiro 2014: The Net and the Internet - Emerging Markets and Policies 106866, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    2. Minervini, Leo Fulvio, 2014. "Spectrum management reform: Rethinking practices," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 136-146.
    3. El-Moghazi, Mohamed & Whalley, Jason & Irvine, James, 2014. "Wireless Access Policy for Electronic Communications Services (WAPECS): Collision between theory and practice," 25th European Regional ITS Conference, Brussels 2014 101380, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    4. Park, Minsoo & Lee, Sang-Woo & Choi, Yong-Jae, 2011. "Does spectrum auctioning harm consumers? Lessons from 3G licensing," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 118-126, March.

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