The Economics of Innovation in the Telecommunications Industry

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The breakup of AT&T in 1984 and the events that have occurred since provide an historical opportunity to evaluate innovative behavior in an industry before and after restructuring. The effects of government regulation and market structure on the rate of industrial innovation are not well understood, and existing studies of innovative behavior across industries yield vague and conflicting conclusions. This book provides a detailed study of the effects of market structure and government regulation on innovation in a single industry over a long period of time. The benefits of a stable industry with prices regulated in the interests of consumers are compared with the benefits of a dynamic industry constantly introducing new products.

The history of telecommunications in the United States is summarized, paying particular attention to the effects of market structure and government policy on innovation. Existing economic studies of the telecommunications industry are reviewed, and the arguments for and against the regulated monopoly structure are evaluated. The philosophy and practice of telecommunications regulation are described and the effects of alternative pricing plans on the demand for services and on the creation of incentives for innovation are studied. Current and emerging telecommunications technologies are described in layman's terms in order to provide an intuitive sense of the economic implications of technological advances.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780899305585
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 11/30/1991
  • Pages: 206
  • Lexile: 1570L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

JOHN R. McNAMARA is Professor of Economics at Lehigh University.

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Table of Contents



A Brief History of Telecommunications in the United States

The Origins of the AT&T Divestiture

The Telecommunications Industry Since 1984

The Determinants of Telecommunications Market Structure

The Economics of Telecommunications

The Theory and Practice of Government Regulation of Telecommunications

Modern Telecommunications Technologies

Market Structure and Innovation

Telecommunications Pricing and Innovation

Telecommunications and Productivity

Trends in Telecommunications



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