Public and Private Ownership of British Industry 1820-1990
AbstractBritain led the way for much of the world with industrial privatization during the 1980s. Yet the historical origins of the process that was being reversed have rarely been examined. This is a study of public and private ownership in industries such as railways, gas, water, electricity, and telecommunications. Industries such as these rely upon a substanial physical distribution network that `channels' their service from source to destination. They thus raise distinctive problems for government policy, as their requirement for some sort of unified system is incompatible with the coexistence of a number of competing service suppliers. Yet competition has been the traditional guarantee of `fair' and minimum prices in British industrial policy. This tension between experience and ideology provoked a variety of government policies over the last two centuries. Robert Millward and James Foreman-Peck provide a coherent and thorough economic history of the network industries, which continue to play an important role in the British economy. They trace the development of various institutional arrangements from the early nineteenth century until the end of the 1980s, and provide quantitative estimates of their performance. Their book offers a valuable historical approach to the contentious issue of privatization.
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Bibliographic InfoThis book is provided by Oxford University Press in its series OUP Catalogue with number 9780198203599 and published in 1994.
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