This paper analyses the privatisation process carried out in Spain through the period 1985-1998. Firstly, an updated overview of the magnitude of the process is presented, paying also attention to the legal background, the economic features of the privatised firms, and the ways and procedures. And secondly, the paper provides a critical assessment of the objectives that the successive governments have actually pursued through privatisations; so, we attempt to verify to which extent privatisations carried out could be related to the usual explanatory hypotheses based in the property rights theory. As a result it is argued here that the main goals actually pursued by Spanish governments (given the features of the privatised firms) do not fit well with such hypotheses. © 2000 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
- Public enterprise