de·​reg·​u·​la·​tion | \(ˌ)dē-ˌre-gyə-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of deregulation 

: the act or process of removing restrictions and regulations

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Other Words from deregulation

deregulate \ (ˌ)dē-​ˈre-​gyə-​ˌlāt \ transitive verb

Examples of deregulation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

House Republicans are pushing a more sweeping deregulation. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The 4 most important policy stories of the week, explained," 17 Mar. 2018 That deregulation increases risks to the financial system sounds like common sense. David Dayen, New Republic, "The Source of the Next Recession," 20 Feb. 2018 More deregulation could come from officials whom Mr. Trump has chosen to lead the Federal Reserve, Securities and Exchange Commission, and other agencies that oversee big financial firms. Andrew Ackerman, WSJ, "Trump Signs Banking Bill, Adding to Regulators’ To-Do List," 24 May 2018 Talks continue behind the scenes about the future of the bank deregulation bill passed by the Senate. Cnn's Capitol Hill Team, CNN, "Congress returns to Zuckerberg hearing, confirmation fights," 9 Apr. 2018 Governments around the world embraced austerity, deregulation, and privatization. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What and who is fueling the movement to privatize public education — and why you should care," 30 May 2018 Bank deregulation: The House is expected to approve a bipartisan bill Tuesday aimed at easing regulations on smaller banks but also helping many large financial institutions. David Lazarus,, "California Inc.: From a galaxy far, far away ... heeere's Han!," 21 May 2018 For instance, 33 House Democrats and 17 in the Senate voted in favor of bank deregulation, which works against black homeownership and black women, as my colleague at The Root, writer Michael Harriot, has pointed out. Terrell Jermaine Starr, The Root, "The Progressive Revolution Is Being Led by a Black Woman," 10 Apr. 2018 Those hopes have yet to be borne out in the Trump era, in which the EPA has taken a sharp turn toward deregulation. Eli Rosenberg,, "Asbestos sold by Russian company is branded with Trump's face," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'deregulation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of deregulation

1963, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

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The first known use of deregulation was in 1963

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Financial Definition of deregulation

What It Is

Deregulation occurs when there is a significant decrease or elimination of government regulation over an industry, market, or economy.

How It Works

The transportation industry is one of the most famous industries to feel the effects of deregulation. In 1887, Congress established the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC), which regulated the railroad industry. Over time, the ICC came to regulate the trucking industry as well. The ICC licensed all truck operators, and it required new entrants to prove they were "necessary for the public convenience" in order to obtain licenses. The ICC allowed established shippers to argue whether the ICC should deny a license to a new entrant. The ICC also reviewed shipping rates, dictated what products the carriers could haul, what routes they could travel, and the cities they could do business in.

The inefficiency imposed by regulation and its focus on helping companies more than consumers became very apparent once the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 deregulated the trucking industry. The number of carriers nearly doubled in the four years after the legislation, freight rates fell as much as 20% in one year, overall industry wages fell, and many inefficient companies went out of business.

A similar situation occurred in the airline industry, which was regulated by the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) until 1978. Like the ICC, the CAB issued licenses, set fares, and regulated where carriers did business. The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 eliminated these constraints, and the airline industry quickly expanded in employment, miles flown, and number of passengers.

Why It Matters

Like most economic policy, deregulation is controversial. Most economists agree that deregulation lowers an industry's barriers to entry and generally increases efficiency, competition, entrepreneurship, and innovation. Established producers have less control over competitors in a deregulated environment. Deregulation also benefits the broader economy because it no longer requires taxpayers to support the regulatory agency's overhead.

Overall, deregulation tends to increase choices and lower prices for consumers. In some cases, however, deregulation can be damaging to consumers, especially when natural monopolies are involved (such as electric utilities or other situations with immense infrastructure or technical needs). Some also point out that the elimination of weaker competitors in a deregulated environment means the loss of jobs.

Source: Investing Answers

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playful or foolish behavior

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