Gregory Crawford Named FCC Chief Economist

Gregory Crawford, an expert in the fields of industrial organization, econometrics, and media economics, has been named the new chief economist of the FCC.
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Gregory Crawford, an expert in the fields of industrial organization, econometrics, and media economics, has been named the new chief economist of the FCC.

His predecessor, Michelle Connolly, has returned to Duke University, where she is a member of the economics faculty.

Crawford is currently an assistant professor of economics in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona. He was an assistant professor of economics at Duke before joining Eller.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin also has a Duke connection—he earned a Masters degree in Public Policy there.

Crawford’s academic work has covered several major media issues.

In a September 2006 paper, “Cable Regulation in the Satellite Era,” he describes as “dismal” the effects of price regulation in cable.

“Satellite competition has largely replaced price regulation as the constraining force on cable pricing and driving force on innovative services, a welcome outcome given the empirical record on the regulation’s effects in cable markets,” he wrote.

In September 2005, he measured the negative effects of monopoly cable regimes and concluded that cable operators in markets with local regulatory oversight “offer significantly higher quality, less degradation, and greater quality per dollar, despite higher prices.”

He has also been studying the potential effects of a la carte cable pricing, an issue Martin has championed.

(Radio World)