After Divestiture: The Political Economy of State by Paul Eric Teske

By Paul Eric Teske

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Additional info for After Divestiture: The Political Economy of State Telecommunications Regulation

Sample text

Most states rely on utility assessments for commission budgets, many utilize gubernatorial appointments, and all have regulatory appointments of four or more years.  Other analysts favor appointment of commissioners, fearing that elected commissioners will favor consumers' short­run interests and leave the utilities under­capitalized in the future (Navarro, 1985).  The issue is not resolved, as studies that include economic variables have found that electing commissioners does lead to decisions favoring short­run residential consumer interests (Mann and Primeaux, 1983; Navarro, 1985).

Their argument is often tautological; as changes in regulation almost always have positive or negative effects for different groups (see Leone, 1986), policy implementation is always a function more of effective interest group lobbying than good public interest­oriented policy.  As with descriptions of inflation in macroeconomic theories, deregulatory policies may be largely of the "demand­pull" or "supply­push" varieties, or a combination of both.  Much controversy has centered on whether interest group pressure comes from a variety of sources, in a pluralist fashion, or whether a few powerful groups continually dominate outcomes.

Thus, although their oversight is important, we should not expect governors and legislators to dominate regulatory choices completely.  In the course of testing the other hypotheses related to these theories, I test to see if Walker's Index still has explanatory power in state telecommunications regulation.  When the external influences approach equilibrium on a given issue, the independent role of regulatory institutions becomes important.  Pi; RS; RA; CT) When P1 through Pi represent the power of interest groups 1 through i; RS is regulatory structure; RA is regulatory attitudes; and CT is contextual (economic and technological) conditions.

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