Coase and Spectrum Auctions

The Coase theorem was first presented by Coase in his 1959 work on the FCC and allocating radio spectrum (jstor). Radio stations interfered with one another (i.e. externalities). Yet Coase argued that with well-defined property rights, spectrum could be allocated in a market just like other goods. In this talk from our MRUniversity course, Economics of the Media, I discuss spectrum allocation, Coase’s triumph at the Chicago dinner and the much longer time to acceptance and application in the real world of the FCC and spectrum auctions.


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