The latest issue of EconJournalWatch has a neat synthesis (PDF) by Adrian Moore and Ted Balaker of the economic literature on regulation of the taxi industry. Their conclusion:
Two out of three articles on taxi-market policy by economists find taxi deregulation beneficial, and their judgments expressed in their writing show that a strong majority support deregulation. That some articles judge deregulation negatively arises in part from deregulation not having gone far enough. Also, there are unresolved issues about whether rules limiting airport services should be deemed â€œintervention,â€ and about the effect of deregulation on the largely-unobserved illegal market.
Our own judgment is that taxi deregulation can work well when done right. We hope this body of research will begin to weigh against the rent seeking and bureaucratic self-interest that currently dominates the making of taxi-market policy.