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Implementing a Market-Based Spectrum Policy

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  • De Vany, Arthur

Abstract

The spectrum auctions were a step toward the Herzel-Coase vision of a flexible and efficient market for spectrum. This article examines what remains to be done. Spectrum must be unbundled from broadcast and transmission facilities. The "commoditization" of spectrum will facilitate standardization, price discovery, and open access to diverse users. A liquid secondary spectrum market will lower transactions and entry cost, making telecommunications markets contestable. Auctions should be used to elicit a supply of spectrum from licensees as well as to allocate it to new users. In closing the spectrum commons, Congress granted use to a privileged few. Unbundled spectrum property rights, commoditization, and open markets will give the public access to this public resource. Copyright 1998 by the University of Chicago.

Suggested Citation

  • De Vany, Arthur, 1998. "Implementing a Market-Based Spectrum Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 627-646, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:41:y:1998:i:2:p:627-46
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/467406
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    1. 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 647-675, October.
    2. Shelanski, Howard A & Huber, Peter W, 1998. "Administrative Creation of Property Rights to Radio Spectrum," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 581-607, October.
    3. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
    4. Peter Cramton, 1997. "The FCC Spectrum Auctions: An Early Assessment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 431-495, September.
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