Privatization and Economic Performance

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One of the most enduring legacies of the 1980s has been the programme of privatizations that the Thatcher government set in train in the first half of the decade. Whole sectors of the UK economy which were formerly part of the public sector were sold off to the private sector. Some were bought out by their employees; others were bought by the public at large. Some public services were contracted out to the private sector; others were placed on a more commercial footing. The UK privatization programme had an influence on economic policy throughout the world. Programmes were also initiated in Asia, South America, Africa, Europe, North America, and, most recently, East and Central Europe. The purpose of this book, a companion volume to The Regulatory Challenge by the same editors, is to stand back and examine what has been learnt from the extensive programme of privatization that the UK government has completed, and to consider what aspects of privatization remain to be done. It attempts to evaluate systematically the privatizations that have been undertaken in different sectors of the UK economy over the last ten years. It examines what has happened and why, where the successes and failures have been, what lessons can be learnt for the design of privatization programmes elsewhere, and what the UK government can still usefully do in this area.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198773436
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 8/28/1996
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
List of Tables
List of Figures
Introduction: Privatization in Performance 1
1 Privatization: Principles, Problems, and Priorities 15
2 Privatization Policies and Public Enterprise: A Survey 32
3 Privatization, Restructuring, and Regulatory Reform in Electricity Supply 62
4 British Airways: A Turn-Around Anticipating Privatization 89
5 Privatization and Regulation of the Water Industry in England and Wales 112
6 Gas Regulation and Competition: Substitutes or Complements? 137
7 Privatization of British Steel 162
8 Competitive Tendering and Efficiency: The Case of Refuse Collection 188
9 Delivering Letters: Should it be Decriminalized? 208
10 British Rail: Competition on the Network 225
11 Railway Privatization 232
12 Privatization and Domestic Consumers 251
13 What is the Alternative? Ownership, Regulation, and the Labour Party 265
14 The Costs of Privatization in the UK and France 290
15 Popular Capitalism 299
16 Management Buy-outs and Privatization 313
17 Privatization and the Labour Market: Facts, Theory, and Evidence 336
18 Privatization in the UK: International Organization and Productive Efficiency 352
Index 367
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