The Regulated Industries and the Economy

By Paul W. MacAvoy | Go to book overview

4

Regulatory Reform

SINCE PRESIDENT Johnson's Great Society of the late 1960s, government regulation has had an increasingly important influence on corporate decisions, in the establishment of work conditions, the setting of prices, and the determination of the quantity and quality of goods and services. Almost all corporations now are affected by some form of regulation. The impact of price controls and health and safety regulation has grown in the last decade so that for all intents and purposes the sector of the economy that could be termed "fully regulated" has more than doubled in its share of GNP.

What have been the results? Since the mid-1960s, price and entry regulation has restricted profitability so widely that production growth has been slowed down in the energy and transportation industries. Rate increases have been less than cost increases, causing declines in capacity growth and production growth in these industries during the early 1970s. As a result most of the public-utility and common-carrier industries failed to extend service to new communities or customers at quality levels comparable to those in the 1950s and early 1960s.

The output effects of health, safety, and environmental regulation were remarkably similar to those of public-utility regulation. The new agencies substantially increased the costs of providing

-105-

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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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