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The Privatisation of Public Assets as an Economic Policy Instrument: Private versus Public Ownership of Companies – Theoretical Foundations

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  • Michael Böheim

    (WIFO)

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    Abstract

    "Competition", "liberalisation" and "privatisation" are emotive words in Austria's economic policy debate. To contribute to a less emotional discussion on the "privatisation of public assets" WIFO provides an objective and balanced analysis, not only of the advantages and opportunities of privatisations, but also of their disadvantages and problems. The analysis is presented in three articles in WIFO's Austrian Economic Quarterly, which are based on the theoretical literature and empirical evidence. This first article of the series focuses on the theoretical foundations and the mutual relations of private and public ownership of companies. According to economic theory government interference in the form of public enterprise is only justified in a market economy, if there is market failure and the specific government intervention can actually eliminate the market failure.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by WIFO in its journal Quarterly.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 3 (October)
    Pages: 185-195

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    Handle: RePEc:wfo:wquart:y:2011:i:3:p:185-195

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    Related research

    Keywords: Privatisation Theoretical Foundations Competition Policy Private Ownership Public Ownership;

    References

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    1. Schmitz, Patrick W., 2000. "Partial Privatization and Incomplete Contracts: The Proper Scope of Government Reconsidered," MPRA Paper 13447, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Lars Jonung & Jaakko Kiander & Pentti Vartia, 2008. "The great financial crisis in Finland and Sweden - The dynamics of boom, bust and recovery, 1985-2000," European Economy - Economic Papers, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission 350, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    3. Megginson, William Leon, 2005. "The Financial Economics of Privatization," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, number 9780195150629, October.
    4. Hart, Oliver & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1127-61, November.
    5. Kay, J A & Thompson, D J, 1986. "Privatisation: A Policy in Search of a Rationale," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(381), pages 18-32, March.
    6. Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "State versus Private Ownership," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 133-150, Fall.
    7. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
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