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Privatization and efficiency in a differentiated industry

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  • Anderson, Simon P.
  • de Palma, Andre
  • Thisse, Jacques-Francois

Abstract

We consider a market in which a public firm competes against private firms, and ask what happens when the public firm is privatized. In the short run, privatization is harmful because all prices rise; the disciplinary role of the public firm is lost. In the long run, privatization leads to further entry; the net effect is beneficial if consumer preference for variety is not too weak. A sufficient statistic for welfare to be higher in the long run, is that the public firm makes a loss. Profitable firms should not be privatized, in contrast with frequent practice.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 41 (1997)
Issue (Month): 9 (December)
Pages: 1635-1654

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:41:y:1997:i:9:p:1635-1654

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  1. de Fraja, Giovanni & Delbono, Flavio, 1989. "Alternative Strategies of a Public Enterprise in Oligopoly," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 302-11, April.
  2. Cremer, Helmuth & Marchand, Maurice & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 1991. "Mixed oligopoly with differentiated products," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 43-53, March.
  3. unknown, 1993. "Privatization in Europe: A comparison of approaches," Discussion Paper Serie A 376, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
  5. Estrin, Saul & Perotin, Virginie, 1991. "Does ownership always matter?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 55-72, March.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  7. Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
  8. Richard G. Harris & Elmer G. Wiens, 1980. "Government Enterprise: An Instrument for the Internal Regulation of Industry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 125-32, February.
  9. Kay, J A & Thompson, D J, 1986. "Privatisation: A Policy in Search of a Rationale," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(381), pages 18-32, March.
  10. Curtis Eaton, B. & Lipsey, Richard G., 1989. "Product differentiation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 723-768 Elsevier.
  11. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  12. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  13. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1991. "Efficiency and Privatisation in Imperfectly Competitive Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 311-21, March.
  14. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1991. "Economic Perspectives on Privatization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 111-132, Spring.
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