The Political Economy of Privatization in Rich Democracies

ISBN : 9780199669684

Herbert Obinger; Carina Schmitt; Stefan Traub
176 ページ
156 x 234 mm

Almost all advanced democracies have launched significant privatization programs over the last three decades. However, while there was a global run into privatization, substantial cross-national differences in the divesture of state-owned enterprises can be observed. This book focuses on the political economy of privatization, and addresses the questions 'What are the driving forces behind this development and how can the variation be explained?' which are of both theoretical and empirical interest. While the topic itself is not new, the existing comparative literature on the political economy of privatization suffers from at least two major shortcomings: First, recent macro-quantitative analysis in political science and economics has only focused on material privatization; formal privatization has hitherto been neglected due to an absence of data, even though this type of privatization is of eminent relevance in the public utility sectors. Second, most of the empirical studies in this area treat countries as independent units. In reality, however, policy decisions are likely to be interdependent. Policy decisions taken in one country influence the decision-making process in others. Given these shortcomings in the existing literature, the idea of this volume is to supply a fresh and comprehensive overview of the political economy of privatization using a new data set, the REST database. The empirical analysis covers 20 OECD countries in the period between 1980 and the advent of the global economic crisis in 2008. The recent economic crisis provides a good opportunity to take stock of the changing role of government in economic over the last three decades.


1. Introduction

2. The Emergence of Public Enterprises in Historical Perspective

3. Determinants of Privatization and State of the Art

4. Mapping the Entrepreneurial State: Data and National Trajectories of Privatization

5. The Determinants of Privatization - Empirical Findings

6. Conclusion and Outlook


Herbert Obinger is a Professor of Comparative Public and Social Policy at the University of Bremen. He studied Political Science and Economics in Vienna and Bern and received a PhD in Political Science from Vienna University. He was a visiting Fellow at Harvard University, visiting Professor at Jacobs University Bremen and Vienna University, and part-time Professor at the University of Southern Denmark.; Carina Schmitt is Assistant Professor at the Center for Social Policy Research at the University of Bremen. She studied Political Science and History in Mainz and received her PhD at the University of Mannheim in 2011. In July 2013, she finished her habilitation with the thesis on the diffusion and convergence of economic and social policies in OECD-countries. During her research stay at Harvard University in 2013/14 she worked on social protection in developing countries. In particular, she focused on the influence of colonialism on the emergence of the welfare state. Carina is mainly working in the field of international political economy and comparative social policy research.; Stefan Traub holds a chair in Behavioural Economics at Helmut-Schmidt-University Hamburg. Previously, he held a Chair in Public Economics at University of Bremen's Centre for Social Policy Research. Jointly with Herbert Obinger, he co-directed the research project The Retreat of the State from Entrepreneurial Activities: Privatization Policy and Cutback of Subsidies in the OECD World, 1980-2010 funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG). His main research interests are the provision of public goods, distributional justice, and behavioural economics.