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Industry and Policy II: Privatisation

  • Peter Curwen
  • Keith Hartley
Chapter
Part of the Macmillan Texts in Economics book series (TE)

Abstract

Privatisation is a policy which embraces debates about the importance of ownership as a determinant of enterprise performance. Questions also arise as to who gains and who loses from the policy. In theory, consumers are supposed to benefit, but other possible beneficiaries include top managers, shareholders and the financial institutions advising on privatisation policy. The pay of top managers in the privatised utilities has been a source of criticism (Curwen, 1994a) raising questions about the effectiveness of shareholders in exercising control over their companies. Further concern has been expressed about the extent of competition in the privatised utilities sector (including mergers) and the effectiveness of the regulatory arrangements. Proposals have been tabled for a tougher regulatory regime to operate more in the interests of consumers and, especially by the Labour Party, for a ‘windfall tax’ on the profits of the privatised utilities.

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Copyright information

© Peter Curwen and Keith Hartley 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Curwen
  • Keith Hartley

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