Entreprise et propriété publiques
[eng] Public enterprise and government ownership This paper adresses the following question : is government ownership the main distinctive feature of public enterprises with respect to private enterprises ? To put it in another and a more challenging way, is it enough to transfer ownership of assets frorn the public to the private sector to really privatise a public enterprise and thus to increase its industrial performance ? We argue that privatisation as such does not necessarily imply the removal of restrictions on competition and thus can be harnvful in terms of social efficiency. We also show that when privatising natural monopolies, the State can loose twice by setting its assets at too low a price and by letting the new private owner diverge from efficiency. [fre] Entreprise et propriété publiques L'entreprise publique trouve-t-elle son fondement dans la propriété publique ? A l'heure où il est tant question de dénationalisation, il serait tentant de répondre par l'affirmative. L'objet de cet article est pourtant d'indiquer que le mode de propriété n'est qu'un critère parmi d'autres dans la distinction entre entreprises publiques et privées. Ce critère est cependant invoqué lorsqu'il s'agit de cerner les sources d'inefficacité de la production publique et les moyens d'y remédier.
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