Discussion Paper

Allocation of Orbit and Spectrum Resources for Regional Communications: What's at Stake?

Dec 1, 1997 | Molly K. Macauley


Contentious debate surrounds allocation of the geostationary orbit and electromagnetic spectrum, two resources used by communications satellites. An extensive economics literature alleges that the nonmarket administrative allocative procedures now in place are highly inefficient, but no research has empirically estimated the welfare loss. This paper develops a conceptual framework and a computerized model to estimate the economic value of the resources, the size and distribution of welfare costs associated with the present regulatory regime, and the potential gains from more market-like allocation.