Two reviews of The Institutionalist Approach to Public Utility Regulation.

Author:Hayden, F. Gregory
Position:Book Review
 
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edited by Edythe S. Miller and Warren J. Samuels.

East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State University Press. 2002. ISBN: 0870136240, $62.95. 496 pages.

The Institutionalist Approach to Public Utility Regulation explains and assesses the intellectual and institutional infrastructure that has come to be recognized as Harry Trebing's contribution to regulatory economics, policy, and history. This infrastructure not only incorporates principles, history of ideas, and applicable theories but also includes an entourage of scholars who have been associated with Trebing in research and policy endeavors. In addition to providing scholarly work and policy involvement, Trebing, in partnership with his wife, Joyce, has provided organizational leadership. They have organized conferences, lectures, seminars, and research institutes and have facilitated policy interfacing with public utility commissioners and legislators. The book captures this history as a true adventure in the application of ideas. Trebing and his associates have been a force to be reckoned with in both academic and policy battlegrounds.

Trebing's professional associates are authors of the chapters. Their emphasis is not to praise Trebing but to explain regulatory theory in the context of the interplay of ideas, law, and technological change that made for the policy milieu in which Trebing participated and was influential. Their contributions are substantive, not personal. In addition to obtaining astute analysis of conceptual and methodological issues, the reader discovers the institutional drama of the political economy of regulatory history.

The collection will contribute to shifting both popular and professional...

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