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The British Approach to Privatisation


  • D. R. Myddelton


Thirty or so years after the 1945–51 Labour government nationalised the ‘commanding heights’ of the British economy, these enterprises were collectively losing the equivalent of £2 billion annually in today's money. In 1979 a Conservative government embarked on a programme of privatisation which handed out hefty inducements to managers, employees and investors and yielded total net proceeds of nearly £70 billion over 18 years. The introduction of competition (as well as regulation) reduced overstaffing and strike threats in state-run industries and eliminated most of the losses.

Suggested Citation

  • D. R. Myddelton, 2014. "The British Approach to Privatisation," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 129-138, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecaffa:v:34:y:2014:i:2:p:129-138

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Colin Robinson, 2013. "The Return Of Centralised Energy Planning," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 312-326, October.
    2. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1988. "Privatization: An Economic Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262720116, March.
    3. David Parker, 2014. "Privatisation of the Royal Mail: Third Time Lucky?," Economic Affairs, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 78-84, February.
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