Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Public vs. private sector : an examination of neo-liberal ideology

Khan, Iram (2006): Public vs. private sector : an examination of neo-liberal ideology.

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Abstract

The paper reviews the theoretical underpinnings of the debate on the superiority of the public or private sector, and supports theoretical perspectives with help from empirical literature on the subject. The theoretical part covers issues relating to public choice, property rights and principal-agents relationship, while the empirical evidence includes review of literature on macroeconomic, microeconomic and welfare impacts of privatization. The paper finds that despite numerous studies and unending discussions, the debate on the superiority of the public or private sector has remained inconclusive and is likely to remain so in the future. Notwithstanding the practical difficulties of making this assessment, the paper concludes that this debate is more ideological rather than empirical, since it is not possible to determine the superiority of one over the other through case studies, which can only be selective in nature.

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