The Costs and Benefits of Privatization in Argentina: A Microeconomic Analysis
Since the beginning of the 1980s, the world has undergone a major shift in thinking about the appropriate economic role of the state. Privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has been at the heart of this change. The track record on privatization, however, is still very limited. This holds true for Argentina, which undertook an extensive privatization effort. But has it improved the welfare of Argentine workers and consumers? How has the transfer of local water and sewerage firms to private hands impacted health indicators such as child mortality? Given the massive layoffs involved, have post-privatization gains in profitability come at the expense of workers? Analyzing data for both financial and non-financial firms, this paper answers these and other questions to set the record straight on privatization in Argentina.
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