Public policy towards the sale of state assets in troubled times: Lessons from the Irish experience
The sale of state assets, both tangible (e.g. commercial firms) and intangible (e.g. radio spectrum), can address budgetary shortfalls. However, drawing on the Irish experience to inform this important issue, it becomes clear that much more is involved in selling state assets in electricity, gas, and transport than ranking such assets by value. Wider public policy considerations need to be taken into account in deciding what to sell and under what conditions. The paper outlines how these wider issues, relating to competition and regulation, can be dealt with so that the sale of state assets will enhance societal welfare.
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