Credible commitment and success with public enterprise reform

Jose Edgardo Campos, Hadi Salehi Esfahani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper studies why some efforts at public enterprise reform fail and why others succeed. Economic reforms are intended to increase efficiency and, thus, help sustain long-term growth. Yet, many governments have had difficulty sustaining the reforms they initiated and have reintroduced rigid controls over markets and enterprises. This is because either in the process of implementation, the government discovers that the costs of carrying the reform further are greater than the expected efficiency gains, or the public is skeptical that the new policies can be sustained and does not take the actions necessary for the gains to be realized. This paper develops a new-institutionalist framework and employs various measures of policy commitment and net gain from continued reform to analyze these issues. The paper suggests ways in which the potential success or failure of a reform can be assessed, with implications for the steps that reformers might take to increase the chances of success. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-243
Number of pages23
JournalWorld Development
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2000


  • Commitment
  • Economic reform
  • Institutions
  • Political economy
  • Public enterprise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics

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