REGULATORY POLITICS AND POLICY CHANGE: THE CASE OF THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY

CHARLES CHIMA OGU, Fordham University

Abstract

This dissertation is a case study of the airline industry that traces the life of the industry from the period of stability beginning from 1938 to 1974 when the industry was sheltered and protected by the CAB, and the period of change and innovation from 1975 which provided for maximum reliance on market forces. The Deregulation Act of 1978 liberalized rules on entry and route expansion and on exit from unprofitable markets. It mandated the CAB to encourage entry by new carriers and price competition. This marked a turning point in the history of regulatory politics--the first time a previously regulated industry was deregulated. The main objective of this thesis is to explore the political and economic forces that prompted the policy change, the conditions under which these forces emerged, and the process for bringing about the said change. It considers the process of regulatory reform in terms of the political and economic structure of society and the factors which motivated and constrained the policy change.^ This study relies largely on public documents, airline industry sources, books, periodicals and newspapers for its data. In explaining the process of airline deregulation, the group/pluralist and structural Marxist models are constructed. Airline regulatory policy change is viewed by pluralists as the outcome of the effective mobilization of interest groups favoring reform. Structuralists contend that deregulation was an attempt by the state to promote capital accumulation in both the industry and national economy. None of these models, this thesis argues, can fully explain the causes of regulatory reform, so, a third framework, the systemic model is introduced. By introducing reform, this approach posits, state officials acted not only because the economic conditions were precarious but also because there was the political constituency favoring change.^ The conclusion drawn from this dissertation is that the liberal democratic system has both a class and popular objectives. To understand the workings of the system one has to examine the process of policy making as well as the structural constraints that impinge on the decisions of policy makers. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, General

Recommended Citation

CHARLES CHIMA OGU, "REGULATORY POLITICS AND POLICY CHANGE: THE CASE OF THE AIRLINE INDUSTRY" (January 1, 1985). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8724509.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8724509

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