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Spectrum Management and Regulation: Towards a Full-Fledged Market for Spectrum Bands?


  • Fulvio Minervini

    (not available)

  • Diego Piacentino

    (Università di Macerata)


The increase in spectrum demand, which has occurred internationally in the last 10-15 years as a consequence of booming wireless communications, has placed considerable pressure on traditional regulatory arrangements for spectrum access and use. Regulators, especially in industrial countries, have taken a number of steps of remedial policy vis-`a-vis these difficulties, by increasing the share of spectrum made available for commercial use as well as by injecting some flexibility into command-and-control regulation. These are, however, steps of a temporary, palliative nature and do not make for a wider spectrum management reform. Starting from a discussion of the limitations of command-and-control regulation, this paper deals with the two main, alternative approaches which have been proposed: a (Coasian) market regime, and a commons regime. After taking sides in favour of the market regime, consideration is given to some implementation issues, and to a regulatory formula—called administrative incentive pricing—which could help ensure a smooth transition from command-and-control to market arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Fulvio Minervini & Diego Piacentino, 2007. "Spectrum Management and Regulation: Towards a Full-Fledged Market for Spectrum Bands?," Working Papers 07-2007, Macerata University, Department of Studies on Economic Development (DiSSE), revised Nov 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcr:wpaper:wpaper00007

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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.
    2. Bykowsky, Mark, 2003. "A secondary market for the trading of spectrum: promoting market liquidity," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 533-541, August.
    3. Valletti, Tommaso M., 0. "Spectrum trading," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(10-11), pages 655-670, October.
    4. repec:reg:rpubli:224 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Hazlett, Thomas W, 1998. "Spectrum Flash Dance: Eli Noam's Proposal for "Open Access" to Radio Waves," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 805-820, October.
    6. Andrea Prat & Tommaso M. Valletti, 2001. "Spectrum Auctious Versus Beauty Contests: Costs and Benefits," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 91(4), pages 65-114, April-May.
    7. Hazlett, Thomas W., 2003. "Liberalizing US spectrum allocation," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 485-499, August.
    8. Jérôme Adda & Marco Ottaviani, 2005. "The transition to digital television," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(41), pages 160-209, January.
    9. Noam, Eli, 1998. "Spectrum Auctions: Yesterday's Heresy, Today's Orthodoxy, Tomorrow's Anachronism. Taking the Next Step to Open Spectrum Access," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 765-790, October.
    10. Farquhar, Michele C. & Fitzgerald, Ari Q., 2003. "Legal and regulatory issues regarding spectrum rights trading," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 527-532, August.
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    More about this item


    Spectrum management; Telecommunications policy; Administrative incentive pricing; Market mechanisms;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development


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