Economics at your fingertips  


Giuseppe Bognetti () and Gabriel Obermann

Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, 2008, vol. 79, issue 3‐4, 461-485

Abstract: ABSTRACT*: Public utilities, public enterprises, privatizations, liberalizations and related topics have been the object of far reaching and intense debate among economists, politicians and practitioners for more than a century. Ideas have frequently changed, and practical solutions chosen to manage public utilities have also undergone significant changes over time. Presently we are witnessing a renewed debate on the relative opportunity of public and private enterprise. In the last twenty years privatization and liberalization have dominated the field. The outcome of this process has produced mixed results. Merits and demerits of privatization, liberalization and regulation are reviewed and discussed in the first part of the paper. The second part of the paper provides an overview of the scientific work of CIRIEC related to issues of public enterprises and services of general interest. It refers primarily to relevant research activities done in the International Scientific Commission ‘Public services/Public enterprises’. Over the past two decades CIRIEC contributed some recognized theoretical and empirical studies dealing with the functioning, governance and reform of public enterprises, based on an international perspective. Theoretical arguments and empirical findings put forward in this paper leads to the conclusion, that the often stated dominant position against public enterprises is not at all convincing. In order to arrive at a fair and valid evaluation of public utilities, it is indispensable to look more closely to the particular circumstances of the technological, economic and social environment and the goals of the provision of a concrete service of public interest.

Date: 2008
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (14) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.blackwell ... bs.asp?ref=1370-4788

Access Statistics for this article

Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics is currently edited by Marco Marini

More articles in Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics from Wiley Blackwell
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Wiley Content Delivery ().

Page updated 2020-10-29
Handle: RePEc:bla:annpce:v:79:y:2008:i:3-4:p:461-485