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An Assessment of Privatization

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  • Sunita Kikeri
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    Abstract

    Mounting empirical evidence of privatization's benefits coincides with increasing dissatisfaction and opposition among citizens and policymakers. This dissatisfaction reflects the growing questioning of the benefits of privatization, the general downturn of global markets in the past few years and the resulting swing of the pendulum back toward increased governmental supervision, the overselling of privatization as a panacea for all economic problems, and the concern that privatization does not produce macroeconomic and distributional gains equivalent to its microeconomic benefits. This article takes stock of the empirical evidence and shows that in competitive sectors privatization has been a resounding success in improving firm performance. In infrastructure sectors, privatization improves welfare, a broader and crucial objective, when it is accompanied by proper policy and regulatory frameworks. The article argues that despite the growing concerns privatization should be neither abandoned nor reversed. Rather, there should be a strengthening of efforts to privatize correctly: by better tailoring privatization to local conditions, deepening efforts to promote competition and regulatory frameworks, enforcing transparency in sales processes, and introducing mechanisms to ensure that the poor have access to affordable essential services. Copyright 2004, Oxford University Press.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by World Bank Group in its journal The World Bank Research Observer.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2004)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 87-118

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    Handle: RePEc:oup:wbrobs:v:19:y:2004:i:1:p:87-118

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    Cited by:
    1. Cheng, Minying & Lin, Bingxuan & Wei, Minghai, 2013. "How does the relationship between multiple large shareholders affect corporate valuations? Evidence from China," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 43-70.
    2. Scheele, Ulrich, 2007. "Privatisierung, Liberalisierung und Deregulierung in netzgebundenen Infrastruktursektoren," Forschungs- und Sitzungsberichte der ARL: Aufsätze, in: Wandel der Stromversorgung und räumliche Politik, pages 35-67 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.
    3. Sofronis Clerides, 2012. "Competition, Productivity and Competitiveness: Theory, Evidence, and an Agenda for Cyprus," Cyprus Economic Policy Review, University of Cyprus, Economics Research Centre, vol. 6(2), pages 81-88, December.
    4. A. Brandão & S. Castro, 2007. "State-owned enterprises as indirect instruments of entry regulation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 263-274, December.
    5. Antonio Rodriguez & Carlyn Ramlogan, 2007. "Corruption, privatisation and the distribution of income in Latin America," Development Research Working Paper Series 09/2007, Institute for Advanced Development Studies.
    6. Schuster, Philipp & Schmitt, Carina & Traub, Stefan, 2013. "The retreat of the state from entrepreneurial activities: A convergence analysis for OECD countries, 1980–2007," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 95-112.
    7. Boubakri, Narjess & Cosset, Jean-Claude & Fischer, Klaus & Guedhami, Omrane, 2005. "Privatization and bank performance in developing countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(8-9), pages 2015-2041, August.
    8. Kikeri, Sunita & Kolo, Aishetu, 2005. "Privatization : trends and recent developments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3765, The World Bank.
    9. Kshetri, Nir & Ajami, Riad, 2008. "Institutional reforms in the Gulf Cooperation Council economies: A conceptual framework," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 300-318, September.
    10. Okten, Cagla & Arin, K. Peren, 2006. "The Effects of Privatization on Efficiency: How Does Privatization Work?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(9), pages 1537-1556, September.
    11. Asiedu, Kofi Fred & Folmer, Henk, 2007. "Does Privatization Improve Job Satisfaction? The Case of Ghana," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1779-1795, October.

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