Theodore Bolema is an adjunct scholar with the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and senior policy editor with the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. Previously he was a principal with Anderson Economic Group, LLC, an economics consulting firm, and was a professor of finance and business law at Central Michigan University.

Bolema worked as an attorney with Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP in New York and with the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He has taught at the George Mason University School of Law, Wayne State University and Michigan State University. He also served as a policy advisor to the Office of Policy, Planning and Analysis of the U.S. Department of Energy.

A native of Michigan, Bolema received his Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State University and his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School. He graduated from Hope College in Holland, Mich. with a B.A. in math and economics.

He has been cited on regulatory law and economics topics in numerous publications including The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Detroit News, Politico and the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

Electricity Choice Policies in Michigan: Comment on "Readying Michigan to Make Good Energy Decisions: Electric Choice"

This policy brief is written by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in response to the report issued on Oct. 15, 2013, by the Michigan Public Service Commission titled "Readying Michigan to Make Good Energy Decisions: Electric Choice," (the "Draft Report") authored by Chairman John Quackenbush and Michigan Energy Office Director Steve Bakkal.

Between the years 2000 and 2012 two distinct changes emerged. Between 2000 and 2008 new suppliers were allowed to start entering the Michigan market and competing with incumbent utilities. Between 2008 and 2012 competition was restricted to guarantee a 90 percent market share for the largest utilities. The analysis of these two periods suggests that market competition tends to bring innovation and lower prices to Michigan electricity consumers, while monopolistic policies tend to raise prices. Michigan should once again embrace opening its electricity market to more entrants to see if they can perform better than the incumbent firms, which will drive down prices for electricity consumers. Michigan allowed such competition to start to emerge during its brief era of Full Customer Choice, and the early results were promising. The initial results from a more tightly regulated and protectionist experiment have been by contrast disappointing.

A video recording of the January 22, 2014 Issues and Ideas Forum featuring the author discussing the topic of expanding the electricity market can be viewed here… more

Proposal to Raise Fees on Television Providers is Unnecessary, Likely to Increase Cable Rates

The State should not allow municipal governments to increase public, education and government channel fees when there is no evidence of additional demand. … more

Proposals to Further Regulate Michigan’s Electricity Market: An Assessment

More than a dozen bills are pending in the Michigan Legislature to expand regulation of the electricity industry and to impose new environmental requirements on energy production and sales. As a group, these legislative proposals assume the necessity of government intervention in the production and distribution of energy. This report details the drawbacks for consumers and the economy of substituting political forces for market forces in electricity service. … more

Assessing Electric Choice in Michigan

Ending the regional monopoly structure in the generation of electricity was intended to provide customers with lower rates and improved service quality, while also increasing generating capacity for electricity in the state. But attempts are underway to reverse the course of this restructuring. … more

Crossed Lines: Regulatory Missteps in Telecom Policy

Violation of property rights is the defining feature of current telecom policy. … more