de·​reg·​u·​la·​tion | \ (ˌ)dē-ˌre-gyə-ˈlā-shən How to pronounce deregulation (audio) \

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 How to pronounce deregulate (audio) \ transitive verb

Examples of deregulation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Among the advocates for silencer deregulation has been Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son. NBC News, "Virginia Beach shooter killed 12 using silencer and high-capacity magazine. Now, lawmakers might look at both.," 4 June 2019 An astute political judge, he was nonetheless ousted in 2007 as voters struggling with rising living costs and worrying about jobs turned to Labor and the more youthful Kevin Rudd, rejecting Mr. Howard's push for workplace deregulation. Rachel Pannett, WSJ, "Australia Ousts Another Prime Minister as Ruling Party Shifts Right," 24 Aug. 2018 Unlike on deregulation and taxes, President Trump didn’t play much of a leadership role on health care or immigration this year; little got done legislatively. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, "Women Who Love Trump," 19 Dec. 2018 However, Administrator Pruitt has done a good job of implementing the president’s policies, particularly on deregulation; making the United States less energy-dependent and becoming more energy independent. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Trump appointee at EPA to scrutinize which pollution cases may go to court," 15 June 2018 The emails obtained by the Sierra Club also show Pruitt traveled to Union Pacific Corp.’s headquarters in Omaha, Neb., to talk about deregulation. Niina Heikkinen, Scientific American, "Emails Reveal EPA Approach to Climate Policy under Pruitt’s Leadership," 9 May 2018 About 9% of workers employed in the for-hire trucking industry are covered by union contracts, compared with 60% to 70% before deregulation, said Michael Belzer, an associate professor of economics at Wayne State University in Michigan. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "Trucker YRC, Teamsters Tumble Toward Contract Deadline," 20 Mar. 2019 Houston consumers pay more for electricity, thanks to deregulationConsumers in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth and Corpus Christi were promised bargains on electricity when the Texas Legislature deregulated the electricity market. L.m. Sixel, Houston Chronicle, "Want cheap electricity? Move to San Antonio or Austin," 21 May 2018 The design of the new vehicles and accessories was an unintended result of President Ronald Reagan’s deregulation of American industries, including the toy industry. Maude Campbell, Popular Mechanics, "Yo, Joe: How a 12-Inch Soldier Doll Became a Toy Legend," 9 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for deregulation

Last Updated

23 Jun 2019

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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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