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The UK's Privatisation Experiment: The Passage of Time Permits a Sober Assessment

  • David Parker

This chapter looks at the UK’s privatisation experiment, which began from the late 1970s. It considers the background to the UK’s privatisations, which industries were privatised and how, and summarises the results of studies of performance changes in privatised companies in the UK. It looks at the relative roles of competition, regulation and ownership changes in determining performance improvement. It concludes by looking at the wider lessons that might be learned from the UK’s privatisation experiment, including the importance of developing competitive markets and, in their absence, effective regulatory regimes.

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2004/wp-cesifo-2004-02/cesifo1_wp1126.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1126.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1126
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  1. Saal, David S & Parker, David, 2001. "Productivity and Price Performance in the Privatized Water and Sewerage Companies of England and Wales," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 61-90, July.
  2. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-19, March.
  3. David S Saal & David Parker, 2000. "The impact of privatization and regulation on the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales: a translog cost function model," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(6), pages 253-268.
  4. E. Markou & C. Waddams Price, 1999. "UK utilities: Past reform and current proposals," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(3), pages 371-416, 09.
  5. Massimo Florio, 2001. "The welfare impact of a privatisation: the British Telecom case-history," Departmental Working Papers 2001-08, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  6. Kay, J A & Thompson, D J, 1986. "Privatisation: A Policy in Search of a Rationale," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(381), pages 18-32, March.
  7. Da[ss]ler, Thoralf & Parker, David, 2004. "Harmony or disharmony in the regulation and the promotion of competition in EU telecommunications? A survey of the regulatory offices," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 9-28, March.
  8. Pollitt, M. & Smith, A.S.J., 2001. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of British Rail: Was it really that bad?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0118, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  9. Newbery, D.M. & Pollitt, M.G., 1996. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of the CEGB: Was It Worth It?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9607, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  10. Parker, David, 1997. "Price cap regulation, profitability and returns to investors in the UK regulated industries," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 303-315, December.
  11. David Tyrrall & David Parker, 2005. "The Fragmentation of a Railway: A Study of Organizational Change," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 507-537, 05.
  12. D. Parker, 2002. "Economic Regulation: a review of issues," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 73(4), pages 493-519, December.
  13. David Parker & David Saal (ed.), 2003. "International Handbook on Privatization," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2330, December.
  14. Jean Shaoul, 2003. "A Financial Analysis of the National Air Traffic Services PPP," Public Money & Management, Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, vol. 23(3), pages 185-194, 07.
  15. Catherine Waddams & Ruth Hancock, 1998. "Distributional effects of liberalising UK residential utility markets," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 19(3), pages 295-319, August.
  16. Domah, P. & Pollitt, M.G., 2000. "The Restructuring and Privatisation of Electricity Distribution and Supply Businesses in England and Wales: A Social Cost Benefit Analysis," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0007, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  17. Dnes, Antony W, et al, 1998. "The Regulation of the United Kingdom Electricity Industry: An Event Study of Price-Capping Measures," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 207-25, May.
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