The Regulated Industries and the Economy

The Regulated Industries and the Economy

The Regulated Industries and the Economy

The Regulated Industries and the Economy

Excerpt

In its first fifty years, regulation seemed to be the solution to the problem of excessively powerful control by business of retail markets. But even while this solution was being tried, the regulatory agencies were given further tasks. In particular, the regulatory commissions were to compel suppliers to fulfill expanded obligations to provide adequate service, even in unprofitable markets. Commissions were to foster industry development, reduce discrimination, and stabilize prices over the business cycle as well. Because of these diverse motives, regulation continued to expand both in the number of industries covered and in the ways in which these industries were controlled.

This expansion was gradual at first but, since the late 1960s, the growth of agency control has been explosive. The motive then was to use the regulatory process to increase health, safety, and the quality of the environment. By the 1970s, regulation had become so extensive that it had begun to have measurable effects on the overall economic condition of the country as well as on the provision of goods and services in certain markets. As a result, general public interest in the impact of all of this regulation has grown.

Various and numerous studies have attempted to evaluate the effects of the control process on the regulated industries. This book compiles, updates, and extends these studies to include assess-

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