Privatization — Public and private sectors find issues with contracting

11.5.2013 Capitalism, News Release, Strategy

WFU BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism hosts conference on public/private organizations

(WINSTON-SALEM, NC – November 5, 2013) Should the interstate highway system and the U.S. air traffic control system be owned and run by the government? How much involvement should the government have in key transportation organizations? Should the U.S. follow the example of other countries and sell state-owned assets to private investors? These questions and more are up for discussion at the WFU BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism Conference on Privatization at the Wake Forest University School of Business Nov. 7 – 8, 2013.

“The U.S. Postal Service and Amtrak are examples of large organizations operated by the federal government, and which often ineffectively compete with private corporations,” said Page West, BB&T Fellow in Free markets and Capitalism. “Each depends on receiving billions in annual subsidies from Congress. A vibrant debate exists as to whether these and other important infrastructure organizations – such as airports, air traffic control, and highways – might be better served through privatization or public-private partnerships. Our conference looks at the advantages and disadvantages of involving private organizations in large infrastructure projects that the public depends on.”

The conference objective: to increase our understanding of contracting issues at the intersection between the public and private sector.

Keynote speaker Robert Poole, a Searle Freedom Trust Transportation fellow and director of transportation policy for the Reason Foundation, will talk about “Infrastructure: New Frontier for Privatization” on Nov. 7, at 7:45p.m. in Farrell Hall’s Broyhill Auditorium. 

The next day, leading scholars from around the world will present papers on issues around bank lending during a crisis, government asset sales, and growth and growth obstacles in transition economies – just to name a few. For a full list of sessions and presenters, please visit the agenda page of the conference website.

*Note to media, Robert Poole is available for telephone interviews in advance of his arrival at the Wake Forest University School of Business, and for in person interviews the afternoon of Nov. 7. Please contact him directly at


About Wake Forest University School of Business (

The Wake Forest University School of Business offers undergraduate programs in finance, accounting, mathematical business, and business and enterprise management, and graduate programs including a Master of Business Administration, Master of Science in Accountancy and Master of Arts in Management. Our programs are consistently ranked among the world’s best in surveys by U.S. News & World Report, Business Week, the Economist, Forbes, and the Financial Times.  Wake Forest MBAs who sat for a Six Sigma green belt certification exam in 2011 and 2012 had a 100% pass rate.  Wake Forest accountancy graduates earned the highest passing rate in the nation on the CPA exam last year and have maintained the top CPA exam pass rate for 10 of the past 14 years.