Privatization and Decentralization in Network Utilities: What Lessons Can We Learn?

This paper describes how, particularly in the area of transportation, there in no doubt that both privatization and decentralization (P&D) offer great potential benefits in the area of network public services. The uncritical and systematic endorsement of these moves, however, can be dangerous. Badly conceived or hastily carried out P&D reforms can backfire and do more harm than good. The experience gathered in these areas over the past two or three decades can help avoid some of these pitfalls. This paper puts emphasis on two main ideas. One is that in most cases, it is desirable to unbundle the service that one intends to privatize or to decentralize, in order to identify what part of the service can most easily be privatized or decentralized, and how. The other idea is that it would be a mistake to think that privatization implies less government intervention, and that decentralization implies less central government intervention. They imply different kinds of public intervention, in ways that are always delicate and not yet fully understood.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: First Edition
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 269-289
  • Monograph Title: Competition and Ownership in Land Transport Passenger Transport

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01051410
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780080450957
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 8 2007 10:32AM