Privatization in Austria: Some Theoretical Reasons and First Results About the Privatization Proceeds*
The issues of privatization (and sometimes deregulation) have been reviewed in a large literature on the various aspects of privatization, that has emphasized the potential efficiency gains. Hence, the goal of this paper is twofold: First to provide some theoretical reasoning why privatization is useful as well as profitable for an economy and second to empirically present the extent of privatization in Austria and other European Union countries. Therefore, the reasons why privatization is necessary are elaborated. Then the specific pattern privatization proceeds for Austria relative to other EU and OECD countries is presented. Moreover, some important idiosyncratic extensions for the Austrian case are elaborated. We argue that in the Austrian case, any discussion of privatization cannot be reduced to observing cash flows, the employment performance and the stock-exchange ratings of the privatized formerly stateowned enterprises. Since polito-economic aspects relating to income distribution and ideology play an important role in explaining the way, the extent, the speed and the economic effects of privatization, they have to be considered as well.
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