Privatization

Successes and Failures

Edited by Gérard Roland. Foreword by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Columbia University Press

Privatization

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Pub Date: June 2008

ISBN: 9780231141604

256 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $55.00£41.00

Pub Date: June 2008

ISBN: 9780231518284

256 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $54.99£41.00

Privatization

Successes and Failures

Edited by Gérard Roland. Foreword by Joseph E. Stiglitz

Columbia University Press

The privatization of large state-owned enterprises is one of the most radical policy developments of the last quarter century. Right-wing governments have privatized in an effort to decrease the size of government, while left-wing governments have privatized either to compensate for the failures of state-owned firms or to generate revenues. In this way, privatization has spread from Europe to Latin America, from Asia to Africa, reaching its zenith with Central and Eastern Europe's transition from socialism to capitalism.

In many countries state ownership has been an important tool in bringing cheap water, energy, and transport to poorer segments of the population. In other instances, it has sponsored aggressive cutbacks, corruption, and cronyism. Privatization: Successes and Failures evaluates the practices and results of privatization in Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Featuring the world's leading economists and experts on privatization, this volume offers a broad and balanced analysis of specific privatization projects and uncovers some surprising trends. Partial privatization, for example, tends to be more widespread than one might think, and the effects of privatization on efficiency are generally mixed but rarely negative. Also, while privatization appears uncontroversial in competitive sectors, it becomes increasingly complex in more monopolistic sectors where good regulation is crucial. Privatization concludes with alternative frameworks for countries in Africa and other regions that seek to develop privatization policy and programs.

Privatization: Successes and Failures provides the first broad assessment of the benefits and costs of privatization policies around the world for over the past twenty years. Privatization is an important and controversial policy issue, and unlike previous studies, this book's goal is not to champion privatization policies but rather to undertake a deep and careful evaluation of them.

Patrick Bolton, David Zalaznick Professor of Business, Columbia University

This book should be compulsory reading.

Paul Sweeney, Irish Times

An extremely valuable monograph... Highly recommended.

Choice

About the Author

Gérard Roland is professor of economics and political science at the University of California, Berkeley. A leading expert in the field of transition economics and institutional change, he is the author of Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms.

Joseph E. Stiglitz is University Professor at Columbia University and former chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank. Among his books are Escaping the Resource Curse and Globalization and Its Discontents, which has been translated into twenty-eight languages. In 2001 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics.