My interest in the effects of regulation and of its antithesis, deregulation, was awakened in the mid- 1970swhen I co-authored a book that sought to explain the order cycle in the world’s airline industry. Like almost everyone else in my profession, I had been schooled in the tradition of neo-classical economics, and the book fell within the same model-testing and predicting tradition with which I was familiar.’ When, afterwards, I became part of a research team assembled by the Regulation Reference of the Economic Council of Canada, a Federal Government agency, charged with examining the effects of regulation on economic activity and with providing reasoned policy alternatives, I found myself among economists whose skills and perceptions had also been honed in the same neo-classical tradition. The method applied by the team accorded fully with this tradition. The inhibiting effects of protective regulation on productivity were measured and the predicted gains from exchanging through the market were provided, whereupon they were used to support both the reform and deregulation of markets in Canada. The resultant document made a substantial contribution to the debate then being conducted in Canada on the implications for Canada’s transport system of the ongoing reform, and deregulation of the transport sector of the United States. Continuing my sojourn in the realm of regulation, my next move took me into a unit within the Treasury Board, a central department of the Federal Government, whose express task was to initiate regulatory reform from within the Federal Government. In 1984,...
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