Wednesday, October 15, 2008
The Summer 2008 edition of the Houston Law Review features a series of thoughtful articles and commentaries on the airline industry after 30 years of (incomplete) deregulation. For those without Lexis, Westlaw, or ready-at-hand law library access, the entire issue is archived online for free here. Readers of this blog may be particularly interested in the contributions of Prof. Paul Stephen Dempsey, Director of McGill University's Institute of Air & Space Law, which beats the war drums against deregulation, and the thoughtful rejoinder provided by Prof. Peter C. Carstensen of the University of Wisconsin's Law School. While, as Carstensen readily admits, Dempsey does a fine job highlighting the faulty assumptions underlying the initial deregulatory ethos, he goes too far in saddling competition itself as the culprit behind the industry's cyclical woes. A sound and sophisticated rethinking of pro-competitive policies for civil aviation--the sort which Carstensen highlights throughout his commentary--would maintain the consumer benefits yielded by deregulation while injecting economic stability into the aviation marketplace.