15 George Mason Law Review 975-1023 (June 2008). Thomas W. Hazlett, Professor of Law & Economics, George Mason University School of Law.
“The provocative article by Phil Weiser and Dale Hatfield presents a challenging analysis of property rights to radio spectrum. Its main thesis is that a property system, by which they mean a private property regime, is difficult to construct because the rights are complicated to design. Radio emissions lurch in many dimensions and are hard to predict; they are probabilistic rather than precise. Weiser & Hatfield argue that this complexity has been ignored by advocates of private property, who reflexively cite property rights in land as the relevant analogy. It is a poor analogy, Weiser & Hatfield offer….Here I present a law and economics analysis that is distinctively different. Happily, it largely dovetails with the Weiser & Hatfield public policy position. Both approaches aim to facilitate a rights regime that enables markets to allocate radio spectrum, abandoning the traditional regime in place since 1927, wherein administrative allocation decides how to use the spectrum resource.