Spectrum Flash Dance: Eli Noam's Proposal for "Open Access" to Radio Waves
As Ronald Coase posited in his famous article on the nature of the firm, there are situations in which decentralized markets are relatively efficient for coordinating economic activity, and situations in which they are not. With spectrum access, assigning property rights to clearly specified private owners is the socially efficient policy because the relevant transaction efficiencies will be internalized by competitive "spectrum owners" selecting to what degree rights should be subdivided and in what manner marketed. Where spot markets are optimal, an owner will maximize profits by using them; where long-term contracts are efficient, the owner will enter profitably into them. Hence, Eli Noam's solution--imposing open-access rules on bands of radio frequencies by government mandate--is a mistaken attempt to duplicate the efficiencies of markets by mandating a particular subset of market solutions. Such a policy predictably will result in underutilization of the spectrum resource. Copyright 1998 by the University of Chicago.
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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:41:y:1998:i:2:p:805-20. 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.