Scott Wallsten is an economist whose research focuses on telecommunications,
regulation, competition, and technology policy. He is currently vice president for
research and senior fellow at the Technology Policy Institute as well as a senior policy
fellow at the Georgetown Center for Business and Public Policy. 

He served as economics director of the Federal Communications Commission’s National
Broadband Task Force from 2009-2010, and has also been director of communications policy
studies and senior fellow at The Progress & Freedom Foundation, a senior fellow at
the AEI - Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies and a resident scholar at the
American Enterprise Institute, an economist at The World Bank, a scholar at the Stanford
Institute for Economic Policy Research, and a staff economist at the U.S.
President's Council of Economic Advisers. 

Wallsten holds a PhD in economics from Stanford University. 

Working Papers


Administrative Procedures, Bureaucracy, and Transparency: Why Does the FCC Vote on Secret Texts?, Technology Policy Institute Working Paper Series (2015)

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not reveal the text of regulations on which...



Social Media and Entrepreneurship: The Case of Food Trucks (with Corwin Rhyan) (2014)

While the use of social media by firms is nearly ubiquitous, there has been little...



What Are We Not Doing When We're Online?, NBER Working Paper (2013)

The Internet has radically transformed the way we live our lives. The net changes in...



Is There Really a Spectrum Crisis? Quantifying the Factors Affecting Spectrum License Value (2013)

The policy world is awash with worries about spectrum shortages as demand for wireless services...



How to Create a More Efficient Broadband Universal Service Program by Incorporating Demand and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis, Technology Policy Institute Working Paper (2011)

The existing high-cost fund suffers from two inherent flaws: it does not incorporate how much...




Residential and Business Broadband Prices Part 1: An Empirical Analysis of Metering and Other Price Determinants (with James Riso), Technology Policy Institute Working Paper (2014)

For this project, we assemble a new dataset consisting of more than 25,000 residential and...



Two Cheers for the FCC's Mobility Fund Reverse Auction, Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law (2013)

The United States held its first competitive bidding, or “reverse auction,” for universal service subsidies...



What Gets Measured Gets Done: Stop Focusing on Irrelevant Broadband Metrics, Communications of the ACM (2011)

Concerns regarding the state of U.S. broadband arises from a combination of focusing on the...


The Path to Universal Broadband: Why We Should Grant Low-Income Subsidies and Use Experiments and Auctions to Determine the Specifics (with Gregory L. Rosston), The Economists' Voice (2011)

Gregory Rosston of Stanford University and Scott Wallsten of the Technology Policy Institute argue that...




Testimony on The Role of Government in Promoting R&D, U.S. Senate Finance Committee (2011)


Testimony on Reforming the Universal Service High Cost Fund, U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet (2009)


Testimony on Broadband to Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship (2007)

Popular Press


We don't need to define broadband, The Hill (2015)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided in its January open meeting that a data connection...



New study of broadband stimulus is not so independent, The Hill (2015)

The National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) recently released a study evaluating its implementation of...



A Regulatory Play in Two Acts, Regulation (2007)


No More Baseball Giveaways, Washington Times (2006)

Contributions to Books


Do Science Parks Generate Regional Economic Growth?, Building High-Tech Clusters: Silicon Valley and Beyond (2004)


Universal(ly Bad) Service: Providing Infrastructure Services to Rural and Poor Urban Consumers (with George RG Clarke), Infrastructure for Poor People: Public Policy for Private Provision (2003)

Until recently, utility services (telecommunications, power, water, and gas) throughout the world were provided by...


Rethinking the Small Business Innovation Research Program, Investing in Innovation: Creating a Research and Innovation Policy That Works (1999)

Blog posts


The NABU Network: A Great Lesson, But Not About Openness (2015)

When announcing his plan to regulate Internet Service Providers under Title II in Wired, FCC...



Does Paying Olympians for Medals Make Them More Likely to Win? (2012)

This short piece empirically evaluates whether rewarding athletes for winning medals at the Olympics provides...




An Economic Analysis of the Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger (2014)

This paper examines the potential benefits and costs of the proposed merger between Comcast and...



Unrepentent Policy Failure: Universal Service Subsidies in Voice and Broadband (with Thomas Hazlett) (2013)

In the first half of 2013, the Universal Service Fund levied a nearly 16 percent...