Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Privatization of state-owned industrial assets and, increasingly in recent years, privatization of public services such as health, sanitation, public transport, and education gained tremendous momentum over the past three decades. In the 1980s, the United Kingdom and United States in particular initiated a major privatization trend. Since the 1990s, central and eastern European and Asian post-communist states have privatized hundreds of thousands of firms. Privatization has emerged as one of the most important and demanding economic policy programs in the context of market liberalization and national development programs worldwide. The proven superiority of private over state production motivates privatization efforts. The advantages of private firms over state-firms are complex. First, only private firms have real owners with the incentive to maximize their present property value. This in turn leads to production that is more efficient and creates economic incentives for innovation. In this sense, private ownership also provides the best ...