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15 - Political Connections, Corruption, and Privatization

from Part III - Outcome-Based Theories: On the Virtues and Vices of Public Provision as a Means to Promote Efficiency and Justice

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 August 2021

Avihay Dorfman
Affiliation:
Tel Aviv University Faculty of Law
Alon Harel
Affiliation:
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
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Summary

The relationship between corruption and privatization is a complex one. In some cases, they are conceived as polar opposites, with privatization touted as a strategy to combat corruption. In others, they are synonyms: privatization is perceived as a product of or a mechanism to enable corruption. In this chapter, I argue that there are particular circumstances in which each of these hypotheses may prevail, suggesting that the answer to the question “who gains from privatization?” is largely dependent on context. An accurate picture needs to consider the multiple phases of the privatization process, the unique institutional framework in which decisions are made, and the particularities of the sector(s) involved. To develop this argument, I organize the vast literature on the political economy of privatization according to three key moments: the decision to privatize (before privatization), the privatization process (during privatization), and the dynamics governing the privatized structures (after privatization).

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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