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Privatization and Efficiency in a Differentiated Industry

We consider a market in which a public firm competes against private ones, and ask what happens when the public firm is privatized. In the short run, privatization is harmful because prices rise: the disciplinary role of the public firm is lost. In the long run, privatization leads to further entry; the net effect is beneficial if consumer preference for variety is not too weak. A sufficient statistic for the social surplus to he higher in the long run is that the public firm makes a loss. This suggests that profitable firma should not necessarily be privatized.

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Paper provided by Paris X - Nanterre, U.F.R. de Sc. Ec. Gest. Maths Infor. in its series Papers with number 9505.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:pnegmi:9505
Contact details of provider: Postal: THEMA, Universite de Paris X-Nanterre, U.F.R. de science economiques, gestion, mathematiques et informatique, 200, avenue de la Republique 92001 Nanterre CEDEX.

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  1. Curtis Eaton, B. & Lipsey, Richard G., 1989. "Product differentiation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 723-768 Elsevier.
  2. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  3. De Fraja, Giovanni, 1991. "Efficiency and Privatisation in Imperfectly Competitive Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 311-21, March.
  4. de Fraja, Giovanni & Delbono, Flavio, 1989. "Alternative Strategies of a Public Enterprise in Oligopoly," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 302-11, April.
  5. unknown, 1993. "Privatization in Europe: A comparison of approaches," Discussion Paper Serie A 376, University of Bonn, Germany.
  6. CREMER, Helmuth & MARCHAND, Maurice & THISSE, Jacques-François, . "Mixed oligopoly with differentiated products," CORE Discussion Papers RP -930, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  7. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1991. "Economic Perspectives on Privatization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 111-132, Spring.
  8. Vickers, John, 1985. "Delegation and the Theory of the Firm," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 95(380a), pages 138-47, Supplemen.
  9. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
  10. Barros, Fatima & Modesto, Leonor, 1999. "Portuguese banking sector: a mixed oligopoly?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 869-886, August.
  11. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  12. Estrin, Saul & Perotin, Virginie, 1991. "Does ownership always matter?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 55-72, March.
  13. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  14. Richard G. Harris & Elmer G. Wiens, 1980. "Government Enterprise: An Instrument for the Internal Regulation of Industry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 125-32, February.
  15. 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.
  16. Lawson, Colin, 1994. " The Theory of State-Owned Enterprises in Market Economies," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 283-309, September.
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