Working paper / Communications and Media
Deregulating Telecommunications in Europe: Timing, Path-Dependency, and Institutional Complementarities
We investigate institutional and policy drivers of telecommunications deregulation in Europe. In particular, we focus on those determinants which received so-far a comparatively little attention: policy speed and timing, path-dependency, institutional complementarity. We find that: first, crosseffects from privatizations to liberalizations reveal to affect the liberalization process; second, the telecommunications industry is shown to play a ‘pivotal role’ in the liberalization patterns of European countries; third, ‘path dependency’ turns out to be a crucial driver for telecommunications’ liberalizations; fourth, liberalizations in telecommunications result to be linked across European countries; fifth, ‘institutional complementarities’ between liberalization initiatives and regulatory authorities are shown to significantly shape the telecommunications market structure. Finally, we interpret our findings in light of the evolution of the European regulatory framework and suggest that these results may represent important lessons for policy design in other network industries.