The deregulation of network industries in the 1970s is a puzzle for many political economists, as consumers generally benefited at the expense of entrenched, well-connected producers.  How did that happen?

One widely acknowledged answer is that economist Alfred Kahn, head of the Civil Aeronautics Board, played an influential role. Professor Kahn died this past week, and Thomas Hazlett has a brilliant piece in the Financial Times on Kahn’s influential role.

Those interested a more formal look at the benefits of deregulation might check out Clifford Winston’s 1993 JEL piece that scopes out the movement nicely.

And Kahn’s Ph.D. advisor was none other than Joseph Schumpeter.  How do you like that?