<> political economy of the regulatory process an empirical approach
Regulation, like many other policy decisions, results out of a complex process that is shaped by political as well as economic forces. Therefore, regulatory decisions must be endogenized when studying their impact on the market outcome. This thesis offers various econometric approaches to study this issue. In the first contribution, I analyze how a country's political and bureaucratic institutions, as well as its political environment, affect the entry liberalization of the mobile telecommunications industry in OECD states during the 1990s. I found that majoritarian countries, countries with more accountable regulators, and countries with right-wing governments liberalized more intensely, whereas countries with consensus-type of democracies, a presidential regime, coalition rather than one-party governments, and a strong incumbent firm liberalized less. Next, I focus on the firms' strategic behavior and analyze how this is influenced by the political and regulatory environment. I use data from the U.S. mobile telecommunications industry in the late 1980's, which can be seen as a natural experiment because of its particular market and regulatory structure. The second essay studies the relation between the choice of a regulatory design and firms' pricing behavior. I show that, through their lobbying activities, firms endogenously influence the price-regulatory regime under which they operate. Accounting for this endogenous selection, price regulation is observed to decrease cellular tariffs. However, regulation is not particularly effective in reducing prices because firms prevent it from occurring where it would be mostly successful. In the final contribution together with Astrid Jung, we investigate the link between firms' political decision, i.e. their lobbying expenditures, and their product market conduct. The relationship between collusion and the industry's lobbying expenditures is strongly significant and negative: Higher lobbying expenditures foster a more competitive industry and collusive conduct reduces firms' contributions to the political system. The interpretation is that, if firms' political goals are not perfectly aligned, collusion in the product market reduces industry's total campaign contributions by enhancing firms' coordination in lobbying.
School:Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:07/17/2002