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Public and Private Ownership of British Industry 1820–1990$
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James Foreman-Peck and Robert Millward

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198203599

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198203599.001.0001

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Privatization of Industry in the 1980s

Privatization of Industry in the 1980s

(p.319) 10 Privatization of Industry in the 1980s
Public and Private Ownership of British Industry 1820–1990

James Foreman-Peck

Robert Millward

Oxford University Press

Policy towards industries based on technological networks veered in a new direction during the 1980s. Monolithic state industries were returned to private ownership, which they had left many decades earlier with far more fragmented structures. The public were to be protected from exploitation by these private monopolies first by new forms of arm's length regulation, and then by attempts to introduce competition. Why and how the remarkable shift in industrial policy occurred is the subject of this chapter. What effects policy makers thought privatisation would have must have been a contributory cause, but they are not necessarily identical with the actual impact. Both motives and outcome are of vital concern for aggregate economic performance, for the network technology sector was fundamental to the economy.

Keywords:   technological networks, state industries, private ownership, monopolies, competition, industrial policy, privatisation

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