Winners and Losers: Assessing the Distributional Impact of Privatization

Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 6

61 Pages Posted: 24 May 2002

See all articles by Nancy Birdsall

Nancy Birdsall

Center for Global Development

John Nellis

Center for Global Development

Date Written: May 2002

Abstract

While most technical assessments classify privatization as a success, it remains widely and increasingly unpopular, largely because of the perception that it is fundamentally unfair, both in conception and execution. We review the increasing (but still uneven) literature and conclude that most privatization programs appear to have worsened the distribution of assets and income, at least in the short run. This is more evident in transition economies than in Latin America, and less clear for utilities such as electricity and telecommunications, where the poor have tended to benefit from much greater access, than for banks, oil companies, and other natural resource producers.

Suggested Citation

Birdsall, Nancy and Nellis, John, Winners and Losers: Assessing the Distributional Impact of Privatization (May 2002). Center for Global Development Working Paper No. 6. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=313861 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.313861

Nancy Birdsall

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-416-0700 (Phone)

John Nellis (Contact Author)

Center for Global Development ( email )

2055 L St. NW
5th floor
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-416-0724 (Phone)

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