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Regulation of Economic Activity

New Perspectives on Institutions and Policies

Public Regulation studies the formation of institutions and government policies that regulate industry, offering new data, new contexts, and new tools for analyzing the structure and performance of regulatory activity. It addresses both how these institutions and policies came into being and how well or poorly they work. The contributors examine them variously, from economic, political, social, and historical points of view.

A New Empirical Approach to Regulation

The telecommunications industry defies easy characterization. The long-distance sector is highly competitive and the local exchange sector much less so, while digital transmission and switching have blurred the distinction between traditional voice communication and the transmission of video and data messages. Regulation of this industry has generally been considered necessary because it has aspects of a natural monopoly.

The Spatial and Political Dimensions of Hazardous Waste Policy

Hazardous wastes often head the public's list of environmental concerns. Exaggerated estimates of cancer epidemics arising from waste sites generate a sense of alarm, but little is known about the real extent of the health threats. In this book James T. Hamilton and W. Kip Viscusi present the first comprehensive analysis of the magnitude of hazardous waste risks and of the efficacy of the Environmental Protection Agency's Superfund program.

Economic Analysis and British Experience

Regulatory reform had its beginnings in the United States in the 1970s, and today it is taking place around the globe. One of the central questions for industrial policy is how to regulate firms with market power. Regulatory Reform tackles this important policy issue in two parts: it describes an analytical framework for studying the main issues in regulatory reform, and then applies the analysis to the British experience in four utility industries—telecommunications, gas, electricity, and water supply.

How does risk labeling information on hazardous household chemicals and pesticides influence consumer behavior? While many studies speculate on the effects of risk information, Magat and Viscusi draw on a series of extensive surveys to assess the likely response. Their set of original studies of household chemicals, energy audits, and food risk labeling establishes guidelines for the design and evaluation of these informational regulations.

An Economic Analysis

The process of selling assets and enterprises to the private sector raises questions about natural monopolies, the efficiency and equity of state-owned versus privately owned enterprises, and industrial policy. This comprehensive analysis of the British privatization program explores these questions both theoretically and empirically.

This book surveys the latest changes in the turbulent area of airline deregulation. The authors' third collaboration on the subject, it deals with such current trends and topics as the proliferation of mergers and takeovers and the stategies and tactics involved in price wars and other marketing ventures.

Past, Present, and Future

Banking is now, and always has been, a risky business. The key to success both in operating a bank and in supervising a banking system is appropriate risk management. Yet risk management has become increasingly difficult because of higher and more volatile interest rates, faster and cheaper transfer of funds and information, a movement toward deregulation, and subsidies for many institutions embedded in the flat-rate premium structure of the federal deposit insurance system.In this book five leading bank scholars explore the safety and soundness of the U.S.

The airline industry has been buffeted by the forces of deregulation since the mid-1970s. Many new firms have entered, some with different price and operating philosophies and some of these have thrived. Other airlines have gone bankrupt. Overall the real cost of air travel has declined considerably; however, the effects have varied dramatically from market to market. Exactly how was this massive experiment envisioned and planned? How has it worked? And how will it work in the long run?

Edited by Gary Fromm

"Regulation" has long been a venomous term in the conservative vocabulary, and "deregulation" (of the airlines and the trucking industry) has recently acquired a benign definition in the liberal lexicon. Across the political spectrum, there has been growing distrust of regulators, their motives, and their methods. The naive assumption that regulation necessarily operates in the public interest has been replaced by a healthy skepticism in some quarters, and by a facile (and often self-serving) cynicism in others.