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By De Jong, Nijman And Roell

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When accompanied by uncertainty and opportunism, market for the deployment of such assets is very likely to fail. 4. Bounded rationality. This factor implies that human beings have limited ability to comprehend complexity and are unable to anticipate and include all present and future contingencies in a contract. 5. Opportunism. This is another human condition that involves strategic manipulation of information and seeking self-interest with guile. It encourages firms to cheat in their commercial dealings if it is in their long-term interest to do so.

Interestingly, six organizations with a low score of 2 were once public enterprises. This fact, besides reminding us that any evaluation of national enterprise status takes place at a point in the evolution of the organization being evaluated, also demonstrates that an organization can be privatized and in the process lose almost all its national enterprise characteristics. It may be argued. that these characteristics were not very strong in the first place, but British Steel represents one interesting illustration of a company that required massive state subsidies over a period of many years, and yet has grasped the mettle postprivatization and turned itself into a paragon of private sector virtue compared to the major (often stateowned) operators elsewhere in the European Union.

Thus, out of a list of 28 organizations, 16 qualify for classification as national enterprises. Of these, 6 are state-owned but 10 have been privatized. What the latter share is a tendency to market dominance, with consequent great potential to operate against the public interest. It follows logically that there is only one straightforward way to denationalize a national enterprise, namely, through the introduction of market competition. One final point is worthy of note. Given the government's slow but steady process of disengagement from the marketplace (evident in the outright privatisation or continual withdrawal of financial support to a widening range of organizations).

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