On September 5th, Silicon Flatirons hosted Deregulation Revisited: A Tribute to Fred Kahn. The conference drew an impressive crowd, with top executives, attorneys, professors, regulators, and economists in attendance. The event put in clear focus the lasting impact of Kahn’s leadership and vision.
On September 5th, Silicon Flatirons hosted Deregulation Revisited: A Tribute to Fred Kahn. The conference drew an impressive crowd, with top executives, attorneys, professors, regulators, and economists in attendance. The event put in clear focus the lasting impact of Kahn’s leadership and vision. With The Economics of Regulation and his time with the New York Public Service Commission, Kahn established himself as a leader for thoughtful policymakers. Then, at the Civil Aeronautics Board, his courage and vision spurred the enactment of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978. Now, thirty years after that event, Kahn joined a diverse group of panelists to reflect on the legacy of deregulation in connection with the publication of a special issue of the Review of Network Economics dedicated to Kahn.
The conference began with a welcome address by Phil Weiser, the Executive Director of the Silicon Flatirons Center, who recently authored an essay, Alfred Kahn As A Case Study of A Political Entrepreneur: An Essay in Honor of His 90th Birthday. Next, three panels approached the subject of deregulation and regulatory reform from different angles.
The first panel, moderated by Phil Weiser, looked at Telecommunications: Assessing the Lessons From the 1996 Telecom Act. This panel featured Dale Hatfield, Tom Hazlett, Tim Tardiff, Phil Verveer, and Dennis Weisman. It evaluated whether the course of telecommunications deregulation in the U.S. took the right path, including the decision to divest the Baby Bells from AT&T, implement an aggressive form of pro-entry regulations in the 1996 Telecom Act, and take a relatively hands-off approach to broadband markets.
The second panel addressed Electric Power and the Challenges of Regulatory Reform. The panelists were Richard Cudahy, Ray Gifford, Diana Moss, Jeff Sterba, and Pat Wood. They discussed topics including flexible rate designs, the effectiveness of the Federal government’s regulatory regimes, and the importance of market structures.
The final panel, Airline Deregulation and Its Aftermath, was moderated by Norton Cutler of Perkins Coie. The panel consisted of Sam Addoms, Darius Gaskins, Jr., Michael Levine, Michael Roach, and Dorothy Robyn. They discussed various features of the airline industry, including the lingering effects of regulation, globalization, and the importance of consumer protection.
After each of the panels, Charles Zielinski introduced Fred Kahn. Fred Kahn then offered closing remarks. Kahn’s sharp wit and insightful comments at age 91 stand as a powerful testament to his continuing engagement with the world of idea.
Video of the event is available here.