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Chapter 10: Assessing the Impact of Privatization in Developing Countries
Paul Cook and Colin Kirkpatrick Introduction Privatization has been a major element of the economic reform programmes pursued by developing countries during the past two decades. Beginning in the late 1970s, the level of privatization transactions in developing countries has risen rapidly, and at the same time the range of developing countries and sectors involved in privatization has increased. Between 1990 and 1999, total global privatization proceeds amounted to $850bn. Although developed countries accounted for the bulk of these proceeds, the share of developing countries is estimated to have been almost 30 per cent during this period (Mahboobi, 2000; Kikeri and Nellis, 2002). Much of the privatization revenue has come from infrastructure privatization, mainly telecommunications and power, followed by the primary sector, including petroleum, mining, agriculture and forestry. In regional terms, Latin America accounts for the largest share of non-OECD privatizations, although Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia sold the largest number of enterprises. By comparison, privatization activity has been modest in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East regions. What has been the impact of privatization in developing countries? Have the objectives which were set for privatization been met, and to what extent has privatization contributed to the goal of achieving sustained economic and social development in lower-income countries? Impact assessment is a method of both ex ante appraisal and ex post evaluation, and is increasingly being used as a tool for evidence-based policy analysis, in both developed and developing countries (Kirkpatrick, 2001; Lee, 2002). In this chapter, impact...
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