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Efficiency effect of privatization in the developing countries

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Abstract:

Privatization gained considerable momentum in the developing world in the 1980s. The motives were many, but the hope for higher economic efficiency underlined the expectations of the implementing governments and agencies in the developing countries. While the merits of a market-based economic system are well established under certain theoretical conditions, far less is known of its empirical relevance in the developing world. Yet, to the best of the author's knowledge, no empirical study has examined the macro-efficiency effect of privatization in the developing countries. Studies concerned with this issue often limit themselves to the impact of privatization at the firm level for a small number of companies and countries. Thus, the current study is an attempt to provide a systematic quantitative measure of the magnitude of the macroeconomic effect of privatization in 45 developing countries. Using the concept of frontier production function, efficiency differences between developing countries with differing degrees of private sector contribution in the economy are estimated. The empirical findings suggest, ceteris paribus, that developing countries can increase the utility of their national resources by approximately 45% simply by converting to market-based economies.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00036840010007948

Publication date: January 1, 2002

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