U.S Public Policy Toward Network Industries
Industries that have important network features have long been a concern of public policy in the United States. Network industries often embody two major and widely recognized form of potential market failure: significant economies of scale (with the potential of monopoly) and externalities. The policy concerns, however, have often yielded misguided public policy -- innefficient and anticompetitive regulation and government ownership of network industries. The economic deregulation in the late 1970s and early 1980s of a number of network industries -- air and surface transportation, natural gas pipelines, and telecommunications-- was a welcome reversal of policy, but much more remains to be done.
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