Hendrik S. Houthakker, professor of Economics, told a Senate committee Friday that the present period of inflation and recession is due to lack of competition in the American economy and urged the reform of Federal regulatory agencies.
Houthakker, who served on the Council of Economic Advisers in 1969-1971, testified before the Senate Committee on Government Operations, which is hearing debate on the establishment of a national committee on regulatory reform.
Houthakker said yesterday he supports the creation of that committee. "The present regulatory bodies weaken competition or eliminate it altogether," he said.
"The Interstate Commerce Commission effectively operates a cartel for the trucking industry, and the Civil Aeronautics Board administers a cartel for the airlines," he said.
Houthakker also said there is weak competition in non-regulated industries, citing the automobile industry as an example.
"There are large sections of American industry where competition is not as strong as it should be," Houthakker said.