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Privatization represents a public policy decision to reduce the role of the state in the economy by transferring control of state-owned enterprises to private sector individuals or entities. The transfer can take the form of long-term leases (or concessions) or contracting out of services, but it most commonly involves the sale of assets or shares in a state-owned enterprise. Although methods of disposition are varied, they usually fall into one of three categories: initial public offering, direct sale to a preselected buyer, or voucher distribution. The latter is used by governments that issue paper claims to citizens to be exchanged for shares or units in a portfolio of companies. This approach was widely employed in Eastern Europe during the 1990s, especially in the Czech Republic, ...

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