Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discuss literature and empirical evidence on regulatory independence especially in telecommunications and to suggest reforms of this institution. Design/methodology/approach: The paper comprises a survey of the literature plus new empirical evidence on de facto independence. Findings: The study finds that independence has a positive and significant, but modest, impact on network penetration, once de facto issues and endogeneity are taken into account. Research limitations/implications: De facto independence can only be superficially approached with quantitative methods and the instruments used to correct for endogeneity are far from perfect. Practical implications: Regulatory agencies may find ways to improve their effectiveness. Social implications: The paper provides ideas on how to solve the dilemma between expertise and accountability in the particular field of telecommunications regulation. Originality/value: The paper provides data about the vulnerability of independent regulation in telecommunications in Latin America until 2010. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
- Developing countries
- Strategic delegation