Economic Issues Series: Papers are literature reviews and analyses in areas of public policy concern involving issues similar to those addressed in the Commission's Competition and Consumer Protection missions. Economic Issues Series papers normally require a smaller commitment of Commission resources than Bureau Economic Reports.
The more recent Economic Issues Papers are offered in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. If you have trouble accessing one of these reports, please email ReportRequests@ftc.gov.
Older Economic Issues Papers
The papers below are not available online. To receive a copy of one of these reports, please email ReportRequests@ftc.gov
1. Costs and Benefits of Occupational Regulation, Carolyn Cox and Susan Foster, October 1990.
Occupational licensing frequently increases prices and imposes substantial costs on consumers of professional services, although the goal of licensure is generally to increase the quality of professionals' services. This paper is a review of the literature in the field focusing on empirical estimates of the costs of licensure regulations and alternatives to licensure.
2. A Review of Structure-Performance Studies in Grocery Retailing, Keith B. Anderson, June 1990.
This is a review of the literature on the effects of grocery retailing concentration on market performance. The review generally concludes that the existing structure-performance studies of this industry contain methodological and econometric weaknesses.
1. How Should Health Claims for Foods Be Regulated? An Economic Perspective, John E. Calfee and Janis K. Pappalardo, September 1989.
This policy analysis examines the application of a cost/benefit approach to health claims. It focuses on the problem that regulators tend not to ask one of the right questions: How much will it cost consumers if we do not allow a claim that turns out to be true?
1. Deregulation in the Trucking Industry, Diane S. Owen, May 1988.
This report examines the effects of the deregulation in the trucking industry that began with the Motor Carrier Act of 1980. It finds that the feared effects of reduced service to small communities, destructive competition, confusion among shippers, and unsafe trucks, do not appear to have occurred. It is explained that a comparison of benefit and cost estimates of various studies indicates that the competitive forces unleashed by the partial deregulation of trucking may have resulted in economic benefits outweighing costs by a factor of twenty to one.
2. The Deregulated Airline Industry: A Review of the Evidence, Jonathan D. Ogur, Curtis Wagner, and Michael G. Vita, January 1988.
This report summarizes the available evidence on the effects of deregulation in the airline industry. The main conclusions are: 1) airline safety has improved since deregulation; 2) requiring general aviation to follow safety rules similar to those already followed by commercial airlines could significantly improve safety; 3) increasing airport landing fees during congested periods would significantly reduce delays; 4) frequency of flights to small cities has risen since deregulation; and 5) deregulation has significantly lowered prices of commericial air travel and permitted more people to fly.