The book assesses the impact of core political and social institutions on regulatory structures and performance in the telecommunications industry in Jamaica, the United Kingdom, Chile, Argentina, and the Philippines. These core institutions are shown to influence strongly the credibility and effectiveness of regulation, and thus its ability to encourage private investment and support efficiency. Currently, privatization and regulatory reform are often viewed as the solution to the problem of poor performance by telecommunications and other public utilities. This volume argues that these high expectations may not always be met because of the way a country's political and social institutions - its executive, legislative and judicial systems, its informal norms of public behaviour - interact with regulatory processes and economic conditions. In some environments, regulatory solutions run counter to the prevailing wisdom: achieving credible commitment may require an inflexible regulatory regime, and sometimes public ownership of utilities may be the only feasible alternative.
• Applies and extends the new institutional economics in a careful empirical analysis of the impact of institutions on the telecommunications industry in five countries • Offers new insights as to the relations between governance and economic development • Combines analysis with policy suggestions
Foreword Douglass North; Series editor's preface; Preface; List of contributors; 1. A framework for resolving the regulatory problem Brian Levy and Pablo T. Spiller; 2. Telecommunications regulation in Jamaica Pablo T. Spiller and Cezley I. Sampson; 3. The United Kingdom: a pacesetter in regulatory incentives Pablo T. Spiller and Ingo Vogelsang; 4. Chile: regulatory specificity, credibility of commitment, and distributional demands Ahmed Galal; 5. The political economy of the telecommunications sector in the Philippines Hadi Salehi Esfahani; 6. Argentina: the sequencing of privatization and regulation Alice Hill and Manuel Angel Abdala; Notes; References; Index.