A Caltech Library Service

Revisionism Revised? Airline Deregulation and the Public Interest

Levine, Michael E. (1980) Revisionism Revised? Airline Deregulation and the Public Interest. Social Science Working Paper, 335. California Institute of Technology , Pasadena, CA. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF (sswp 335 - Jul. 1980) - Submitted Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


This paper calls for a reexamination of modern theories of regulation in the light of recent deregulation activity. Modern "revisionist" theories of regulation are derived from Downs' demonstration that a public official will maximize his own welfare by pursuing policies which provide identifiable benefits to groups which are well-organized politically. Various commentators have explained the fact that much regulation is inefficient by showing that there are groups that benefit from the inefficient regulation and that those groups support both establishing and continuing regulation. These theories are couched in terms that do not predict or account for the dismantling of any regulatory scheme which is providing benefits to some groups at the expense of the general public. Unfortunately for this view of the process, the last several years have seen deregulation of airlines, trucking, brokerage commissions, cable television, and others. Perhaps "bad" regulation is the product of mistakes rather than the inevitable product of a democratic political system. Airline deregulation is examined in detail and seems to support resurrection in modified form of the "public interest" theory of regulatory origin previously thought obsolete.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Working Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemPublished Article
Additional Information:An earlier and significantly less complete version of this paper was delivered at the Conference on Managing the Transition to Deregulation, held at Duke University, May 7-8, 1980. Michael J. Graetz and Alan Schwartz, my colleagues at Caltech and USC, were extremely generous with their help and provided many useful comments. Published as Levine, Michael E. "Revisionism revised? Airline deregulation and the public interest." Law and Contemporary Problems 44.1 (1981): 179-195.
Group:Social Science Working Papers
Subject Keywords:Industrial regulation, Economic regulation, Aviation regulation, Airline deregulation, Public interest theory of regulation, Regulatory theory, Regulatory legislation, Drug regulation, Government bureaucracy, Public welfare
Series Name:Social Science Working Paper
Issue or Number:335
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171009-165041345
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:82242
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:10 Oct 2017 16:03
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 18:52

Repository Staff Only: item control page