Cheng Wang

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

King, Dwight Y.

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Privatization--Political aspects--Indonesia; Privatization--Political aspects--Philippines; Privatization--Political aspects--Taiwan


The literature of political economy suggests that severe economic crises, excessive foreign debts, and serious budget constraints will lead governments to adopt structural adjustment programs, including trade liberalization and the privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). In Indonesia, the Philippines, and Taiwan, economic crisis, government deficit, and international pressure caused the government to launch privatization since the late 1980s. However, the reform of the public sector has occurred in quite different ways in the three countries. In the Philippines, privatization was vigorously pursued by Aquino and Ramos and most SOEs were sold without delay. The Philippines government also showed little interest in intervening in the economy or in competing with private business. In contrast, the Indonesian government has not been willing to liberalize and privatize SOEs, despite strong reform pressure coming from the IMF. Many privatization cases have been delayed since 1999. In Taiwan, the government privatized many SOEs, but the state adopted strong regulatory role and remained in control of privatized SOEs. Similar to Indonesia, privatization in Taiwan after 2000 has been marked by delay and indecision. This dissertation shows that several social and cultural factors, such as ideology, economic nationalism, the culture of using SOEs as patronage tools, and ethnic politics, influence political leaders' perceptions toward the scope and methods of privatization. According to research on privatization, a government's will and capacity to reform, the power of stakeholders, and the characteristics of SOEs (e.g., size, sector, financial records) often affect the implementation of privatization. However, this dissertation finds that the most compelling factors that caused delays of privatization are institutional constraints. Evidence from the three countries suggests that privatization was delayed when a political system encountered autonomous local governments, intensive judicial reviews, or severe partisan rivalry caused either by a multiparty system or a divided government.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [269]-294).


xiii, 393 pages




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