The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Privatization promotes economic efficiency and growth, thereby reinforcing macroeconomic adjustment. In the short run, however, it can lead to job losses and wage cuts for workers and higher prices for consumers. This paper discusses these impacts and the fiscal implications of privatization. It then reviews various methods of privatization and finds that public sales and auctions can have more negative effects on workers but maximize the government’s revenue gains. Policymakers’ options for mitigating the social impact of privatization are surveyed, and experiences under adjustment programs reviewed.