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The Political Economy of PipelinesA Century of Comparative Institutional Development$
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Jeff D. Makholm

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226502106

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226502120.001.0001

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Making Sense of Pipelines

Making Sense of Pipelines

The Lenses of the New Institutional Economics

(p.175) Chapter Nine Making Sense of Pipelines
The Political Economy of Pipelines
University of Chicago Press

This chapter returns to the broader economic, regulatory, and political issues illustrated by pipelines and reviews what a century of pipeline problems reveals. Pipeline transport can be competitive in construction and use, and the vehicle for unfettered fuel market competition. Neither the institutional foundation nor the final transition to competitive pipeline transport in the United States owed anything to the neoclassical economic tradition. Oil pipelines in the United States used a series of complicated and restrictive measures to limit access to preferred pipeline users soon after the ink was dry on its regulations. The lens of contract revealed common carriage and third-party access as inimical to the organization of an independent pipeline transport sector. Governance institutions explained why US oil and gas pipeline systems split onto different evolutionary paths.

Keywords:   oil pipelines, pipeline transport, fuel market, United States, common carriage, third-party access, gas pipeline

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