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TitlePrivatisation and poverty : the distributional impact of utility privatisation
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsBayliss, K
Secondary TitleWorking paper series / Centre on Regulation and Competition
Volumeno. 16
Pagination21 p.
Date Published2002-01-01
PublisherUniversity of Manchester, Centre on Regulation and Competition
Place PublishedManchester, UK
ISSN Number1904056156
Keywordscharges, electricity, employment, funding agencies, impact, institutional aspects, policies, poverty, sdipol, water authorities

This paper examines the impact of privatization of public utilities (water, power, telecommunications) on the poor in developing countries. It critically assesses the World Bank's attempts to link privatization to poverty and considers why such a policy remains a core component of poverty reduction strategies. The five ways in which privatization might be expected to reduce poverty are assessed: economic growth, development of the private sector, fiscal benefits, improved performance of utilities, and the release of aid funds. This is followed by a review of private sector behaviour in which privatization could increase poverty: cherry picking, higher charges (in combination with the abolishment of illegal connections and disconnections), reduction in employment, and weak regulation.

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