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Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 20 No. 3 (Summer 2006)

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Retrospectives: The Coining of "Privatization" and Germany's National Socialist Party

Article Citation

Bel, Germá. 2006. "Retrospectives: The Coining of "Privatization" and Germany's National Socialist Party ." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 20(3): 187-194.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.20.3.187

Abstract

The concept of privatization attracted much attention in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as Margaret Thatcher's privatization policies were implemented in the United Kingdom. My goal here is not to comment on the merits of privatization as a policy, but rather to investigate the history of the term "privatization" in economics and to shed some light on the context in which the word was coined. Although the origin of the term is often attributed to a 1969 book by Peter Drucker, I will show that this attribution is incorrect, and that the terminology of privatization played an evolving role in German economic policy from the 1930s through the 1950s.

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Bel, Germá

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