Peter J. Alexander, PhD.
- An Economic Analysis of Earth Orbit Pollution, Environmental and Resource Economics, 2014, with Nodir Adilov and Brendan Cunningham
ABSTRACT: Space debris, an externality generated by expended launch vehicles and damaged satellites, reduces the expected value of space activities by increasing the probability of damaging existing satellites or other space vehicles. Unlike terrestrial pollution, debris created in the production process interacts with firms’ final products, and is, moreover, self-propagating: collisions between debris or extant satellites creates additional debris. We construct a formal model to explore private incentives to launch satellites and to mitigate space debris. The model predicts that, relative to the social optimum, firms launch too many satellites and choose technologies which create more debris than is socially optimal. We discuss remediation strategies and policies, and demonstrate that Pigovian taxes can be used to internalize the debris externality.
- Market Structure, Viewer Welfare, and Advertising Rates in Local Television Broadcast Markets, Economics Letters, 2005, with Keith Brown
ABSTRACT: We test the relationship between market structure, the price of advertising, and number of viewers in broadcast television markets, employing FCC license allocations as an instrument for structure. We find a positive relationship between concentration, advertising price, and viewership.
- Network Growth: Theory and Evidence from the Mobile Telephone Industry, Information Economics and Policy, 2007, with Brendan Cunningham and Adam Candeub
ABSTRACT: Firms in mobile telephone markets place termination charges on one another for delivering calls to subscribers. We present a model of consumer and firm behavior in mobile markets in order to identify the role of termination charges in determining the market equilibrium. Our model predicts a “waterbed effect”, that is, high termination rates will be associated with low subscription prices, if preferences are the primary source of variation in termination rates. If costs are the main driver of termination rates our model predicts a “tide” hypothesis in which high termination rates exist alongside high subscription prices. We test these and other predictions from our model using international data on mobile subscriptions per person. We find results which are broadly consistent with our model. More specifically, we find evidence that mobile termination rates are positive and significantly related to mobile phone adoption. This result is robust to the inclusion of a variety of other structural, institutional, demographic, and income controls. We also find that competition, internet subscriptions, and a free press are positively associated with mobile phone adoption while fixed termination rates and inequality slow the adoption of mobile technologies.