Federal Communications Law Journal

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date


Publication Citation

60 Federal Communications Law Journal 627 (2008)


Two recent books focus attention on the role of regulation in the modem economy and the reasons why efforts at deregulation succeed or fail. Clifford Winston's Government Failure Versus Market Failure: Microeconomics Policy Research and Government Performance reviews empirical studies of regulation and its alternatives, arguing that economic regulation has quite often done more harm than good. In Creating Competitive Markets: The Politics of Regulatory Reform, editors Mark K. Landy, Martin A. Levin and Martin Shapiro collect essays addressing the political dangers faced by those pursuing market liberalization, both before and (especially) after reform is enacted. Read together, these books help to explain the sometimes perplexing legacy of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which embodied ambitiously deregulatory goals but has resulted in an increasingly complex regulatory framework. They also offer critical guidance to those who will craft and implement future telecommunications legislation, urging such decisionmakers to focus not only on policy but also on politics if they hope to enact durable reform.