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Privatization, Liberalization, Wages and Employment: Theory and Evidence for the UK


  • Haskel, Jonathan
  • Szymanski, Stefan


Most agency-based privatization models are of the owner/manager relation and ignore the labor market. Yet in the 1980s there were profound changes in public sector and privatized firms to wages and employment. The authors develop a bargaining model of the manager/workforce relation that explains employment and wages when firms are privatized, government objectives become more commercial, and markets are liberalized. Using data on fourteen U.K. companies, 1972-88, that were publicly owned in 1972, the authors find: (1) employment fell following the change to more commercial objectives; and (2) wages were only slightly affected by this, but fell if the firm lost market power. Copyright 1993 by The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Suggested Citation

  • Haskel, Jonathan & Szymanski, Stefan, 1993. "Privatization, Liberalization, Wages and Employment: Theory and Evidence for the UK," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(238), pages 161-181, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:econom:v:60:y:1993:i:238:p:161-81

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