Ownership, efficiency, and political interference

Johan Willner*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    60 Citations (Scopus)


    Privatisation is often explained by a desire to achieve efficiency. Some authors propose that the main reason for inferior performance under public ownership is interference from politicians who promote output and employment instead of profits to please voters. Western state-owned firms however typically operate in imperfectly competitive markets, or even in natural monopolies. Private ownership then leads to underprovision. This paper presents conditions under which political interference yields higher welfare than under commercial objectives, and vice versa. If effort affects utility, interference may be beneficial in a seemingly perfect market.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)723-748
    Number of pages26
    JournalEuropean Journal of Political Economy
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • Efficiency
    • L32
    • L33
    • L44
    • Privatisation
    • Public ownership


    Dive into the research topics of 'Ownership, efficiency, and political interference'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this