Introduction: The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887

Introduction: The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 Rev Ind Organ (2013) 43:3–6 DOI 10.1007/s11151-013-9395-7 Wesley W. Wilson Published online: 17 July 2013 © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013 The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 (ICA) was signed into law on February 4, 1887, by President Cleveland. This Act, originally labeled “An Act to Regulate Commerce,” provided for regulation of interstate rail commerce in the United States. While the Act was originally passed to regulate railroads; it eventually was modified and shaped the regulation of a wide variety of industries and markets that included motor carrier, electricity, telecommunications, and barge markets. Academically, the ICA also stim- ulated academic research for over 100 years on the rationale for regulation, optimal regulatory design, the estimation of costs and efficiency, demand, market power, the effects of mergers, and a wide variety of other issues. The Act was passed after a period of tremendous growth in the rail network. The first steam locomotive was invented in England in 1797, and in 1827 the first US railroad (the Baltimore and Ohio) was formed and began operations in 1830. From those early days, the industry grew to about 30,000 miles of rail in 1860, and in 1869 the Union Pacific and Central Review of Industrial Organization Springer Journals

Introduction: The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887

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Copyright © 2013 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Economics / Management Science; Industrial Organization; Microeconomics
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