The Cato Institute invites you to a Book Forum on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

The Political Spectrum:
The Tumultuous Liberation of Wireless Technology, from Herbert Hoover to the Smartphone
(Yale University Press)
featuring the author
Thomas W. Hazlett, Hugh H. Macaulay Endowed Chair in Economics, Clemson Universitywith comments by
Ajit Pai, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission

RSVP to the event

Popular legend has it that before the Federal Radio Commission was established in 1927, the radio spectrum was in chaos, with broadcasting stations blasting powerful signals to drown out rivals. Tom Hazlett, a distinguished scholar in law and economics and former chief economist at the FCC (the commission’s successor), debunks that idea. Instead, regulators blocked competition at the behest of incumbent interests and, for nearly a century, have suppressed innovation while quashing out-of-the-mainstream viewpoints.

Hazlett details how spectrum officials produced a “vast wasteland” that they publicly criticized but privately protected. The story twists and turns, as farsighted visionaries — and the march of science — rose to challenge the old regime. Over decades, reforms to liberate the radio spectrum have generated explosive progress, ushering in the “smartphone revolution,” ubiquitous social media, and the amazing wireless world that is now emerging. Still, Hazlett argues, and current FCC controversies confirm, the battle is not even half won.

If you can’t make it to the event, watch it Live Online and join the conversation on Twitter using #PoliticalSpectrum.

Follow @CatoEvents on Twitter to get future event updates, live streams, and videos from the Cato Institute.


Date: March 15, 2018

Time: 12:00PM – 1:00PM
(Luncheon to follow)

Cost: Free of charge


Prof. Milton Mueller of Georgia Tech delivered a Tullock Lecture on April 24, 2017, discussing his new book, WILL THE INTERNET FRAGMENT?

ABSTRACTThe Internet has united the world as never before. But is it in danger of breaking apart? Cybersecurity, geopolitical tensions, and calls for data sovereignty have led to claims that the Internet is fragmenting.  Milton Mueller argues, however, that the network effects of global compatibility are so powerful that they will continue to defeat any technical fracturing of the Net. The real issue is the attempt by governments to stop information flows at their borders, yielding a power struggle over the future of national sovereignty in the digital world. It pits global markets against the territorial designs of government. Will the Internet Fragment? argues that the conflict should be resolved by moving away from national sovereignty and towards popular sovereignty in cyberspace.

Tullock Lecture addressed challenges facing the changing internet

The internet has evolved to deliver a huge increase in connectedness – a person logging on in Timbuktu can quickly find, and easily communicate with, someone with a common interest in Des Moines, Tokyo, or Seville. That’s the idea, anyway.  But many pundits and policymakers say the friendly and efficient ecosystem is under siege.  Their concern: fragmentation.  If the internet splinters into tiny slivers, with barriers between them, the efficiency of the information superhighway may be lost.


Milton Mueller, an international expert on the subject of internet governance, attacks this hot topic in his Tullock Lecture at Clemson University, on Monday, April 24.

Mueller, professor of public policy at Georgia Tech and author of “Will the Internet Fragment?: Sovereignty, Globalization and Cyberspace” (Wiley, 2017),  spoke in Lowry Hall, Room 100, from 5-6:30 p.m.

Mueller argued the threats of geopolitical and cybersecurity issues fragmenting the internet aren’t nearly as concerning as governments’ attempts to block information flows for political reasons. He said the network effects of global compatibility are powerful enough to defeat a technical fracturing of the web. However, a power struggle may loom over the future of national sovereignty in the digital world.

The Tullock Lecture series is sponsored by the Information Economy Project (IEP), housed in the John E. Walker Department of Economics at Clemson University. Refreshments and informal discussion followed the lecture.

Will the Internet Fragment
The IEP is directed by Thomas W. Hazlett, H.H. Macaulay Endowed Professor of Economics. For more information on the lecture or the activities of the IEP, go to Please direct any questions to Kyra Palange at

Regulatory expert Robert Crandall spoke at Clemson Oct. 31

Rick Uhlmann, College of Business

October 21, 2016

Deregulation would unleash efficiencies and enhance U.S. spending and productivity growth, according to Robert Crandall, senior fellow, Brookings Institution, who delivered the Tullock Lecture at Clemson University on Oct. 31.


Crandall, a renowned author and expert on the economics of government regulation, will spoke from 4-5:30 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium of Tillman Hall. The Tullock Lecture on Big Ideas about Information is sponsored by the Information Economy Project.

Crandall, whose current research focuses on telecommunications policy, will review evidence showing how complex and costly health, safety and environmental regulation is thwarting job and income gains, while producing fewer benefits than are possible with better-crafted rules. He advocates for market-based incentives, including an approach that would replace the EPA’s Clean Power Plan with a carbon tax.

Crandall holds an M.S. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, where he taught economics. He has also taught at MIT, Maryland, George Washington University and Stanford. He is the author of several books including, with Cliff Winston and Vikram Maheshri, First Thing We Do: Let’s Deregulate All the Lawyers (Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 2011).

A reception and refreshments followed the lecture.

For more information, contact Kyra Palange at .

Oct. 31, 2016 - Robert Crandall, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution spoke at Tillman Hall on "Regulation, Deregulation, and the Information Economy". sponsored by the Information Economy Project

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Noted author, attorney Peter Huber spoke at Clemson April 12

Rick Uhlmann, College of Business and Behavioral Science

March 22, 2016

Peter Huber, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research and prominent Washington, D.C. attorney, spoke at Clemson University on April 12, 5-6:30 p.m., in 100 Hardin Hall as part of the Clemson Information Economy Project.

An author of several books, Huber spoke on his latest title, “The Cure in the Code: How 20th Century Law is Undermining 21st Century Medicine.” The discussion focused on Huber’s argument that obsolete policies and government regulation are impeding growth of DNA-focused medical treatments.

Huber cites molecular medicine advances that are producing “designer drugs,” which offer cures customized to each patient. Yet, such therapies are routinely blocked because of new-drug approval restrictions imposed by the Food and Drug Administration. Huber argues progress will be thwarted until new rules are crafted that will allow for scientific breakthroughs now possible.

Before joining the Manhattan Institute, where he writes on drug development, energy, technology, and the law, Huber was an associate professor at MIT. He clerked on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals for Ruth Bader Ginsburg and on the U.S. Supreme Court for Sandra Day O’Connor. Huber has a J.D. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from MIT.

The Information Economy Project supports academic research, policy analysis, and popular commentary using economic theory and empirical methods to evaluate the challenges facing policy makers, judges and entrepreneurs.

For more information on the April 12 lecture, contact Kaitlin Matheson

Click here to watch Huber’s lecture.

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A Century of Spectrum Overregulation and the Quest to Liberate Wireless Technologies

via Hudson Institute

With the FCC’s relentless drive to regulate new technologies, a look back at the history of the federal government’s spectrum regulation can shed light on how to encourage innovation and competition in the wireless industry.

On Wednesday, December 9th, Professor Thomas Hazlett discussed his forthcoming book, The Political Spectrum: From Marconi to the iPhone, The Quest to Liberate Wireless Technologies of Freedom, in which he offers a revealing account of regulators’ suppression of competition and innovation over the past century, debunks the popular myth that regulators rescued the airwaves from chaos, and argues that the wireless market’s full potential can only be unleashed through spectrum deregulation.

Thomas Hazlett holds the H.H. Macaulay Endowed Chair in Economics at Clemson University, where he also serves as Director of the Information Economy Project. Professor Hazlett previously served as Chief Economist of the Federal Communications Commission. Professor Hazlett’s widely published research focuses on regulation of telecommunications and the information sector. Professor Hazlett’s forthcoming book, The Political Spectrum: From Marconi to the iPhone, The Quest to Liberate Wireless Technologies of Freedom, will be published in the spring of 2016 by Yale University Press. Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth moderated the event.

Click here to download Dr. Hazlett’s slides.