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Internationalisation and Economic Institutions:Comparing the European Experience$
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Mark Thatcher

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199245680

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199245680.001.0001

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The Force of Inertia: Telecommunications in France, West Germany, and Italy 1965–87

The Force of Inertia: Telecommunications in France, West Germany, and Italy 1965–87

(p.137) 7 The Force of Inertia: Telecommunications in France, West Germany, and Italy 1965–87
Internationalisation and Economic Institutions:

Mark Thatcher (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows why transnational technological and economic developments and regulatory reforms in the US failed to result in major institutional changes in France, West Germany, and Italy between 1965 and 1987 (just before detailed EU regulation began). Traditional institutional arrangements were highly protective of national suppliers in the mid-1960s, notably publicly-owned suppliers enjoying wide monopolies. During the 1960s and 1970s, suppliers faced major problems, including lack of investment and inability to meet demand. Existing institutions were widely regarded as inefficient and unable to meet transnational technological and economic pressures. Yet even modest reforms were blocked by a determined coalition led by trade unions, employees, and political parties. Instead, policies that did not require major institutional changes were used and/or inefficiencies were tolerated. Insofar as limited reforms were made, they widened cross-national contrasts, so that the two forms of internationalisation did not lead to institutional change or convergence.

Keywords:   technological pressures, institutions, public ownership, monopoly

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