Journal of Economic Surveys

Privatization, Labor and Social Safety Nets

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Abstract

Privatization promotes economic efficiency and growth, thereby reinforcing macroeconomic adjustment. In the short run, however, it can lead to job losses and wage cuts for workers. This paper discusses these adverse impacts of privatization in terms of various methods of privatization and surveys the existing empirical evidence. It finds that public sales and auctions can have stronger negative effects on workers but maximize the government’s revenue. Policymakers’ options for mitigating the social impact of privatization are surveyed.

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