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The first privatisation: selling SOEs and privatising public monopolies in Fascist Italy (1922--1925)

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  • Germà Bel

Abstract

Italy's first Fascist government applied a large-scale privatisation policy between 1922 and 1925. The government privatised the State monopoly of match sale, eliminated the State monopoly on life insurances, sold most of the State-owned telephone networks and services to private firms, reprivatised the largest metal machinery producer, and awarded concessions to private firms to build and operate motorways. These interventions represent one of the earliest and most decisive privatisation episodes in the Western world. While ideological considerations may have had a certain influence, privatisation was used mainly as a political tool to build confidence among industrialists and to increase support for the government and the Partito Nazionale Fascista. Privatisation also contributed to balancing the budget, which was the core objective of Fascist economic policy in its first phase. Copyright The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Germà Bel, 2011. "The first privatisation: selling SOEs and privatising public monopolies in Fascist Italy (1922--1925)," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 35(5), pages 937-956.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:cambje:v:35:y:2011:i:5:p:937-956
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/cje/beq051
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1991. "Economic Perspectives on Privatization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 111-132, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Paolo Di Martino & Emanuele Felice & Michelangelo Vasta, 2017. "The curious case of the coexistence of two “access-orders”: Explaining the Italian regional divide," Department of Economics University of Siena 758, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Clara Elisabetta Mattei, 2015. "Austerity and Repressive Politics: Italian Economists in the Early Years of the Fascist Government," LEM Papers Series 2015/17, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    3. Clara Elisabetta Mattei, 2015. "The Guardians of Capitalism: International Consensus and Fascist Technocratic Implementation of Austerity," LEM Papers Series 2015/23, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    4. Hugh Goldsmith, 2014. "The Long-Run Evolution of Infrastructure Services," CESifo Working Paper Series 5073, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • L32 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • N44 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Europe: 1913-
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government

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