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Reframing privatisation: Deconstructing the myth of efficiency

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  • Steve R. Letza

    ()

  • Clive Smallman

    ()

  • Xiuping Sun

    ()

Abstract

In the context of ongoing scandals about public versus private ownership, we review the rise and fall of British nationalised industries, and the subsequent rise of privatisation based on perception of market-based efficiency as a means of improving public service. We evaluate the theoretical and empirical arguments around privatisation and find that the argument of privatisation as a vehicle for efficiency gains is a myth. Instead, we suggest that efficiency is not solely a matter of ownership, but requires a complex interplay of social and commercial variables to make it possible. We call for a more inventive and flexible approach in the search for efficiency in the public sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Steve R. Letza & Clive Smallman & Xiuping Sun, 2004. "Reframing privatisation: Deconstructing the myth of efficiency," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 37(2), pages 159-183, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:37:y:2004:i:2:p:159-183
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jorge Pinilla & Joaquim Vergés, 2007. "Efectos De La Privatización En La Eficiencia De Iberia Líneas Aéreas De España S.A," Revista Economía y Administración, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Administrativas, Universidad de Concepción, vol. 69, pages 7-38, December.
    2. repec:eee:crpeac:v:29:y:2015:i:c:p:65-85 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Abdella Abdou & Saeed Moshiri, 2009. "Privatization and capital formation in developing countries: an empirical analysis," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 557-575.
    4. Jupe, Robert, 2012. "The privatization of British Energy: Risk transfer and the state," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 116-129.
    5. repec:eee:crpeac:v:20:y:2009:i:2:p:175-204 is not listed on IDEAS

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