Management Paper

In: Business and Management

Submitted By gurza
Words 9556
Pages 39


Paul Andrisani and Simon Hakim

Center for Competitive Government

Richard J. Fox School of Business and Management
Temple University

Privatization of public services to reduce cost and improve quality has a long history. Peter Drucker, the Austrian born management professor, was the first to suggest contracting out of local services to private companies. Indeed many municipal services were already contracted out by 1980 in Great Britain. But the most significant drive for privatization in Great Britain, which signaled the way to the rest of the world, came about with the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. In the following decade a host of state owned enterprises were privatized including British Petroleum, British Aerospace, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, National Freight Corp., Cable and Wireless, British Airways, British Gas, British Telecom, several water and electric utilities. In addition, public housing was sold to the residents and compulsory competitive bidding of local services was initiated.

By the late 1980’s, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina elected presidents who adopted privatization initiatives. But the trend toward privatization was not confined to western countries. The collapse of Communism in the Soviet Bloc prompted the sale of many state owned enterprises as well as other forms of privatization. Even earlier, China in 1978 allowed private farming and later private sector manufacturing and retail operations. And Vietnam allowed private businesses and Cuba allowed homes to be sold to their tenants.

Privatization of government activities in the world reached a record high of $89 billion by 1996. Within a year this mark was surpassed with an even more impressive record of $160 billion in 1997. A great deal of this recent activity was attributable to the sale of state…...

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