In recent decades, governments on every continent have sold state-owned assets, such as airports, railroads, and energy utilities. The privatization revolution has overthrown the belief widely held in the 20th century that governments should own the most important industries in the economy. Privatization has generally led to reduced costs, higher-quality services, and increased innovation in formerly moribund government industries.

More on Privatization


The Best Deal Going: Privatize U.S. Public Lands

By Steve H. Hanke. June 30, 2017.

Saudis in a Tight Corner — the Princes Make Clever Moves & Mistakes, Too

By Steve H. Hanke. May 27, 2017.

Privatization: The Real Way to Make American Infrastructure Great Again

By Steve H. Hanke. April 13, 2017.

Cato Studies

Privatizing U.S. Airports

By Robert W. Poole Jr. and Chris Edwards. Tax and Budget Bulletin No. 76. November 21, 2016.

Options for Federal Privatization and Reform Lessons from Abroad

By Chris Edwards. Policy Analysis No. 794. June 28, 2016.

Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service

By Chris Edwards. Tax and Budget Bulletin No. 75. April 1, 2016.


Privatizing Waterworks

Steve H. Hanke. JHU Global Water Magazine. January 16, 2011.

Public Filings

NASA and Mission to Planet Earth

By Edward L. Hudgins. Testimony. March 19, 1997.

Postal Service Privatization

By Edward L. Hudgins. Testimony. April 30, 1996.

Cato Reviews & Journals

A More Optimistic View

David R. Henderson. Regulation. Spring 2017.

Regulation at 40

Peter Van Doren and Thomas A. Firey. Regulation. Spring 2017.

Margaret Thatcher’s Privatization Legacy

Chris Edwards. Cato Journal. Winter 2017.


Mission Creep at the TSA and the Case for Privatization

Featuring Jim Harper and Chris Edwards. November 14, 2013. Capitol Hill Briefing.

The End Is Near and It’s Going to Be Awesome: How Going Broke Will Leave America Richer, Happier, and More Secure

Featuring Kevin Williamson and Michael D. Tanner. May 23, 2013. Book Forum.

Economic Reforms in Egypt

Featuring . April 12, 2007. Policy Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government


By Chris Edwards. July 2016.

Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service

By Tad DeHaven. April 2016.

Privatizing the U.S. Postal Service

By Chris Edwards. April 2016.