Four strategic prescriptions for automobile regulation are analyzed: the use of taxes or subsidies to influence consumers' automobile purchasing decisions; breaking up the automobile companies in order to enhance industry competition; moving from state to Federal chartering of automobile manufacturing corporations for better enforcement of compliance with regulations; and placing public representatives on the boards of directors of these corporations for the same reason. Analysis of these prescriptions leads to the conclusion that the first two proposals face an insurmountable practical obstacle and that the last three suffer from fatal errors in logic. The author proposes that the Federal government become significantly involved in sponsorship of private-sector automobile technology research and development by increasing incentives, specifically by sponsoring innovation competitions. Such competitions would free the regulatory process from dependence upon a few regulated firms for technology development that is not in the firms' interest to advance. The competitions would lower the risk and raise the incentives for the considerable potential sources of research and development outside the automobile industry. Difficulties in arranging these competitions include those of patent law infringement and authority of relevant agencies.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Also published in HS-028 918, "Government, Technology, and the Future of the Automobile," New York, 1980 p 10-34. Presented at Harvard Business School Symposium on Government, Technology, and the Automotive Future, Boston, 19-20 October 1978.
  • Corporate Authors:

    McGraw-Hill, Incorporated

    330 West 42nd Street
    New York, NY  United States  10036
  • Authors:
    • Ginsburg, D H
  • Publication Date: 1980

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: 25 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00392304
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-028 920
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: Feb 28 1985 12:00AM