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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
October 25, 2009
(202) 289-8928
Ronald Coase's The Federal Communications Commission at 50
PFF / Mercatus Center Event to Feature Remarks by FCC Commissioner McDowell

WASHINGTON D.C. - This month marks the 50th anniversary of Ronald Coase's seminal article, The Federal Communications Commission. Coase's critique of the political allocation of radio spectrum, and his arguments for achieving efficient allocation by allowing the government to sell rights to the spectrum, has had a profound effect on the course of communications policy.  While Coase's ideas have been vindicated, and a market in radio property has developed, what impact have they had on the FCC? What is Coase's legacy, and how salient are his ideas for the future of spectrum allocation? A distinguished set of speakers will address these questions at the event, "Ronald Coase's The Federal Communications Commission at 50," co-hosted by The Mercatus Center at George Mason University and The Progress & Freedom Foundation

Opening remarks will be given by Commissioner Robert M. McDowell of the Federal Communications Commission.  The remarks will be followed by a panel discussion on the themes presenting in the landmark book.  Participants will include:

  • Prof. Thomas W. Hazlett, George Mason University School of Law
  • Dr. Jeffrey A. Eisenach, Empiris LLC & George Mason University School of Law
  • Dr. Evan Kwerel, Federal Communications Commission
  • John Williams, Federal Communications Commission (invited)

"Ronald Coase's The Federal Communications Commission at 50," will be held Thursday, October 29th from 9:00am to 12:00pm in Hazel Hall, Room 225 at the George Mason University School of Law in Arlington.  Those interested in attending can register on the Mercatus Center technology policy website ( Media queries should be directed to Amy Smorodin or Ann Dwyer at

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation