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Why Media Regulation is so Tempting


  • Bruce Owen

    () (Stanford University)


Why is regulatory reform and deregulation so difficult to achieve? Using the example of proposed federal regulation of (apparently non-existent) wholesale-level bundling of video networks, I explore the non-economic motivations for economic regulation. It appears that the political system sometimes prefers to substitute itself for market forces even when there is no evidence of market failure or evidence that consumer welfare will be increased. This may happen in part because political actors face incentives and opportunities created by activist groups of “true believers,” resistant to rational argument and dissonant information.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Owen, 2008. "Why Media Regulation is so Tempting," Discussion Papers 07-027, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:07-027

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    Federal Regulation; Political Incentives; regulatory reform; deregulation;

    JEL classification:

    • K23 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Regulated Industries and Administrative Law


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