The Regulated Industries and the Economy

By Paul W. MacAvoy | Go to book overview

1

The Spread of Regulation
and the Birth of Deregulation

ALTHOUGH GOVERNMENT control of American industry and trade dates from colonial times, specific and detailed price and entry regulation began only ninety years ago. Passage of the Act to Regulate Commerce (1887), which established federal jurisdiction over interstate railroad rates and service, marked this beginning. Since then, and particularly since the 1930s, regulatory agencies have set prices and certified the services of utilities and of companies providing transportation of passengers and freight. Within the last two decades, regulatory controls have been extended to cover, directly, natural gas and petroleum products companies and, indirectly, health services organizations. Regulation has spread even further as state and federal agencies have been set up in the past few years to control environmental quality and workplace health and safety conditions throughout all of industry and trade.

As regulation has expanded, so has the movement for deregulation. It is to be expected that increased regulatory activity would provoke more efforts to reform particular agencies, both in the state capitols and in Washington. However, recent proposals for reform have gone beyond simply making corrections in an agency procedure. For example, the Ford administration went so far as to propose legislation seeking to eliminate federal price-setting au

-15-

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The Regulated Industries and the Economy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Regulated Industries and the Economy *
  • Contents 7
  • Preface 9
  • 1 - The Spread of Regulation and the Birth of Deregulation 15
  • 2 - Price and Entry Regulation 31
  • 3 - Health and Safety Regulation 81
  • 4 - Regulatory Reform 105
  • Notes 129
  • Appendices - A-D 145
  • Index 153
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