Radio Spectrum and the Disruptive Clarity of Ronald Coase
In "The Federal Communications Commission," Ronald Coase exposed deep theoretical foundations via normative argument. The government controlled scarce frequencies; spillovers were said to be otherwise endemic. Coase saw that regulators limited conflicts by restricting uses and that property owners routinely perform such functions via the price system. The fundamental insight was that analytical symmetry was demanded, accounting for the net benefits of both regulation and markets. Coase augured that the price system would outperform administrative allocation, a conclusion mocked by communications policy experts. Yet one specific slice of the Coasean program, competitive bidding for licenses, commenced at the Federal Communications Commission in 1994. Today, over 70 U.S. auctions have been held, 31,305 licenses sold, and $52.6 billion paid to the Treasury. The reform is a textbook example of economic policy success, even as it raises the question, why have market mechanisms not been further implemented in the spectrum allocation process?
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
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.:
- Milgrom,Paul, 2004.
"Putting Auction Theory to Work,"
Cambridge University Press, number 9780521536721, December.
- David P. Porter, 1999. "The effect of bid withdrawal in a multi-object auction," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 4(1), pages 73-97.
- R. Mark Isaac & Timothy C. Salmon & Arthur Zillante, 2004.
"A Theory of Jump Bidding in Ascending Auctions,"
Game Theory and Information
- 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 221-272, April.
- Kwerel, Evan R & Rosston, Gregory L, 2000. "An Insiders' View of FCC Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 253-289, May.
- 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.
- Paul Klemperer, 2002.
"What Really Matters in Auction Design,"
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
- Demsetz, Harold, 1969. "Information and Efficiency: Another Viewpoint," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 1-22, April.
- Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1998.
"Synergies in Wireless Telephony: Evidence from the Broadband PCS Auctions,"
Papers of Peter Cramton
97jems, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 09 Jun 1998.
- Lawrence M. Ausubel & Peter Cramton & R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1997. "Synergies in Wireless Telephony: Evidence from the Broadband PCS Auctions," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 497-527, 09.
- Banks, Jeffrey & Olson, Mark & Porter, David & Rassenti, Stephen & Smith, Vernon, 2003. "Theory, experiment and the federal communications commission spectrum auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 303-350, July.
- Hazlett Thomas W. & Spitzer Matthew L., 2000. "Digital Television and the Quid Pro Quo," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-46, August.
- Bazelon, Coleman, 2009. "Too many goals: Problems with the 700Â MHz auction," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 115-127, June.
- Rosston, Gregory L., 2003. "The long and winding road: the FCC paves the path with good intentions," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 501-515, August.
- Moreton, Patrick S & Spiller, Pablo T, 1998. "What's in the Air: Interlicense Synergies in the Federal Communications Commission's Broadband Personal Communication Service Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 677-716, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:doi:10.1086/662992. 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: (Journals Division)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.