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Winners and Losers from the Privatization and Regulation of Utilities: Lessons from a General Equilibrium Model of Argentina

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  • Chisari, Omar
  • Estache, Antonio
  • Romero, Carlos

Abstract

A computable general equilibrium (CGE) model is used to estimate the macroeconomic and distributional effects of the privatization and regulation of utilities in Argentina, begun in 1989. Based on data available after the privatization that indicate different kinds of efficiency gains in electricity, gas, water, and telecommunications, both the privatization and effective regulation are estimated to yield significant macroeconomic benefits. Gains from the privatization accrue mainly to high-income classes, while gains from the effective regulation of newly privatized utilities accrue mainly to low-income classes. CGE estimates of overall employment effects suggest that privatization was not a major contributor to the dramatic rise in unemployment in Argentina between 1993 and 1995. This rise was more likely due to the "Tequila Effect" of an interest rate shock. Copyright 1999 by Oxford University Press.

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Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal World Bank Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 13 (1999)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 357-78

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Handle: RePEc:oup:wbecrv:v:13:y:1999:i:2:p:357-78

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