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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $16.58
  • March 1992
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-96186-7
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide


Industry Regulation and the Performance of the American Economy

Paperback

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Paul W. MacAvoy (Author)

 

Regulation reached its zenith in the 1960s. The 1980s was the decade of deregulation. The 1990s afford us an important opportunity to assess what is left of regulation and its impact on the economy. And who better to do this than Paul W. MacAvoy, one of America's most respected experts on the economics of industry?

Beginning with the Act to Regulate Commerce of 1887, Professor MacAvoy traces the rise of regulation over one hundred years to its sharp curtailment in the 1980s. Originally invoked as a means of controlling the prices set by monopolies, this policy tool found extended use in the last quarter-century to do everything from keeping down energy prices to protecting the health and safety of workers and the quality of the environment. In most cases regulation has been founded on the best of intentions, but as the deregulation of the airline, trucking, and railroad industries in the 1980s made clear there are other ways of achieving social objectives. It is thus useful to ask whether the remaining regulation is having its intended effects, as well as whether there are more effective ways of achieving those same objectives, including strict reliance on open and competitive markets. With this comprehensive study of the economy-wide effect of regulation, Paul MacAvoy considers just this issue. His analysis begins with price regulation, assessing its impact in terms of lost growth in output due to rigid prices and declining quality of service. He then does the same for health, safety, and environmental protection regulation, this time measuring the higher costs from regulatory standards against safer working conditions and better air quality. He finds that regulation is expensive, particularly when you consider that there are other ways to achieve both greater consumer welfare and a larger economy. In a concluding chapter, Professor MacAvoy looks at regulatory reform and finds plenty of room for further reductions in regulation.

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