A survey of the liberalisation of public enterprises in the UK since 1979
AbstractThis paper examines the course of the deregulation and privatisation of public enterprises in the UK since 1979. The UK privatisation programme has been the most significant in the OECD involving the transfer of ownership of over 7% of GDP from the public to the private sectors. We examine the history and genesis of this programme, the development of the regulatory system based around RPI-X price control and the evidence on the effects of the privatisation. We conclude by evaluating the policy in the terms of its original aims. We find that public enterprise privatisation successfully reduced government involvement in industry, led to increased economic efficiency and a reduced fiscal deficit. Less clearly, it contributed to the curbing of Trade Union power and wider share ownership. Most significantly of all, as the most sustained and consistent policy of the 1979-97 Conservative governments, it gained sustained advantage for pro-market political forces in the UK.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge in its series Cambridge Working Papers in Economics with number 9901.
Date of creation: Jan 1999
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Web page: http://www.econ.cam.ac.uk/index.htm
privatisation; liberalisation; regulation.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
- L50 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - General
- L90 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-1999-03-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-1999-03-22 (Public Economics)
- NEP-POL-1999-03-22 (Positive Political Economics)
- NEP-PUB-1999-03-22 (Public Finance)
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