Cover image for Privatization and public-private partnerships
Privatization and public-private partnerships
Savas, Emanuel S.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Chatham House, [2000]

Physical Description:
xv, 368 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Reading Level:
1510 Lexile.
Format :


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JK468.P75 S278 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Savas provides a complete guide to privatization--the background, theory, and practical reality. This book explains what, why, when, and how to privatize. Contracting services, using franchises and vouchers, divesting government-owned businesses, privatizing infrastructure through public-private partnerships, reforming education, privatizing the welfare state, and overcoming opposition to privatization are discussed in detail. In addition, Savas provides hundreds of examples from local, state, and federal government in the U.S. and other countries.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Savas has been on the cutting edge of the global privatization debate for 30 years as a public administrator, adviser to governments, and a prolific scholar and teacher. In this major revision of his 1987 book Privatization: The Key to Better Government he navigates a broad swath of privatization issues with admirable authority and clarity. The first two parts of the book update information on the history and theory of privatization. Recent experiences of privatization's successes and failures are incorporated in part 3, where Savas discusses privatization motives, alternative modes of privatization (e.g., divestiture, contracting out, and public-private partnerships), specific examples (education, welfare, and social security), and barriers to privatization (ideological, political, and financial). A glance into the future of privatization concludes the book. In Savas's view, the success of privatization efforts hinges crucially on the unleashing of competition, from which will flow the classical benefits of competitive markets. Savas does not dismiss government as a necessary economic force, but this reviewer was left with the clear impression that he is strongly averse to government management of public services. Despite some reservations, including the author's overconcentration on the US, this is an outstanding book that should be carefully digested by all interested in privatization. Highly recommended for all libraries. J. Prager; New York University

Table of Contents

List of Tablesp. ix
List of Figuresp. xi
Prefacep. xiii
Part 1 The Background of Privatization
1 Introductionp. 3
The Forces Influencing Privatizationp. 5
The History of Privatizationp. 14
Overview of the Bookp. 17
2 The Growth of Governmentp. 18
The Size of Governmentp. 18
Why Government Growsp. 21
Discussionp. 36
Part 2 The Theory of Privatization
3 Basic Characteristics of Goods and Servicesp. 41
Exclusionp. 41
Consumptionp. 43
Classifying Goods and Servicesp. 44
The Problems Posed by Collective Goodsp. 54
Summaryp. 61
4 Alternative Arrangements for Providing Goods and Servicesp. 63
Providing, Arranging, and Producing Servicesp. 64
Institutional Arrangementsp. 66
Mixed Arrangementsp. 87
The Relationship between Arrangements and Kinds of Goodsp. 91
Comparing the Arrangementsp. 92
Privatizationp. 104
Public-Private Partnershipsp. 105
Summaryp. 106
Part 3 The Practice of Privatization
5 Why and How to Privatizep. 111
Why Privatize?p. 111
Forms of Privatizationp. 125
Examples of Privatizationp. 138
Managing the Privatization Processp. 144
Summaryp. 146
6 The Results of Privatizationp. 147
Contracting for Public Servicesp. 147
Privatization of Solid-Waste Collectionp. 160
Divestment of State-Owned Enterprisesp. 167
Summaryp. 173
7 Contracting for Public Servicesp. 174
The Contracting Processp. 175
Summaryp. 210
8 Divesting Enterprises and Assetsp. 211
Divestment Methodsp. 213
Divestment Strategyp. 218
Divestment Guidelinesp. 220
Summaryp. 236
9 Public-Private Partnerships for Infrastructurep. 237
Advantages of Infrastructure Privatizationp. 238
The Spectrum of Public-Private Partnershipsp. 241
Strategic Issuesp. 248
Summaryp. 258
10 Reforming Education and Privatizing the Welfare Statep. 259
Competition and Choice in Educationp. 259
Reinventing Welfarep. 275
Privatizing Social Securityp. 281
Summaryp. 283
11 Obstacles to Privatizationp. 284
Operational Barriersp. 284
Legislative Barriersp. 285
Sources of Oppositionp. 286
Opposition Arguments and Rebuttalsp. 299
Summaryp. 314
12 The Future of Privatizationp. 315
The Leading Edge of Privatizationp. 315
New Directionsp. 318
A New Public Philosophyp. 327
Notesp. 329
Indexp. 359