With rigorous economic research and practical policy solutions, we focus on the issues and institutions that are critical to global development. Explore our core themes and topics to learn more about our work.
In timely and incisive analysis, our experts parse the latest development news and devise practical solutions to new and emerging challenges. Our events convene the top thinkers and doers in global development.
CGD launched, "Reality Check: The Distributional Consequences of Privatization," edited by John Nellis, Study Co-Director, Center for Global Development and Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development at an open event held at the Institute for International Economics. Jim Adams, Vice President for Operations Policy and Country Services, World Bank provided commentary and complimentary copies of the book were given away to the attendees.
The privatization of state-owned enterprises has been among the most controversial of market reforms. This new edited volume brings together a comprehensive set of country studies on the effects of privatization on people—winners and losers. The studies are sophisticated and careful, and address the big questions: Are the poorest households paying more for water, power, and other basic services? Did those who lost jobs suffer permanent declines in income? Were state assets sold at prices that were too low, and who benefited from the resulting windfalls? Was the process, in laypersons’ terms, “fair”? Some readers will be surprised at the general conclusion: that privatization has, in many cases, been a reasonably good thing, including for the poor. Others will be surprised at its limited effects. Almost all readers will want to understand the potential for future privatizations—which remain on the policy agenda despite public resistance and continuing controversy—to enhance competition and at the same time, be fundamentally more just and fair.