Regulatory Economics: Survey of Reading Materials in Universities in Canada and the United States

Article excerpt

The survey is undertaken in response to feedback received from readers on earlier surveys conducted by the author in different areas of economics. The present survey of regulatory economics intends to enhance the quality of teaching and will enable instructors to update their reading lists. Students might find the information valuable in completing term projects and assignments. Publishers might utilize the data, especially Arabic numerals in parentheses to arrive at decisions with regard to reprinting of edited volumes, journal articles and monographs. Librarians might use the information from the survey to develop a balanced collection, which is important in the light of budget cuts and rapid inflation in books, journals, and microform prices. To fulfill these objectives, a questionnaire is designed and directed at heads of economics departments requesting information pertaining to course objectives and/or content, readings assigned, prerequisites before enrolling in given courses, methods of grading and recent shifts of emphasis to new areas of teaching in the past five years. The questionnaire asking for information was sent to a sample of 67 American universities and to all Canadian universities.

The reference works at libraries in selecting the sample of North American universities where the programs in regulatory economics at undergraduate and graduate levels is considered to be strong, consist of:

1. The World of Learning, by Europa Publications, 44th ed., 1994.

2. Guide to Graduate Study in Economics, Agricultural Economics and Related Fields: United States of America and Canada, 5th ed., edited by W. F. Owen, 1979.

3. American Universities and Colleges by Walter deGruyter, 14th ed., 1992.

4. Peterson's Guide to Graduate Programs in the Humanities and Social Sciences, 28th ed., 1994.

Forty-three (43) universities responded by providing information which shed light on books and journal articles assigned to students, objectives and scope of the courses, prerequisites, grading and some comments on recent trends in teaching. The information on new areas of emphasis in the past five years has been supplemented by literature search and interviews with senior faculty members teaching the economics of regulation. The information collected from reading lists is analyzed, compared and tabulated in the form of a bibliography. Incomplete details and typographical errors of assigned readings have been corrected by checking and comparing them with original sources at academic libraries.

The titles assigned to students for reading consist of 241 (two hundred and forty-one) of which 57 are monographs and the rest (184) are journal articles. Among monographs, texts are separated (33) and arranged alphabetically by last name of author under the heading: "Regulatory Economics: Core Texts". The supplementary monographs (24) were combined with journal articles and arranged in accordance with their areas of emphasis under broad subject-headings. Space constraints necessitated condensing the manuscript without distorting its quality. Monographs used by one or more universities, and journal articles by two or more universities are indexed under the classified subject headings listed below:

1. Regulatory Economics: Core Texts.

2. Regulation: Overview and Economic Theory.

3. Monopoly Regulation and Models.

4. Specific Industries (Telecommunications, Airlines, Utilities, Railways, etc.).

5. Social Regulation.

6. Market-Forces, Privatization, Mergers and Acquisitions.

7. Marginal Cost Pricing and Peak Load Pricing.

To identify highly used titles by both American and Canadian universities and to prevent duplication from indexing of entries, the symbols listed below are used in parentheses:

(au) American universities

(cu) Canadian universities

An Arabic numeral preceded by these symbols indicates the number of universities which used the title, e. …