Privatising Capital

The Commodification of Poland’s Welfare State

by Gavin Rae (Author)
©2015 Monographs 202 Pages


Privatising Capital examines the historical development of Poland’s public sector and its welfare state. Their infrastructure, services and employees add up to a form of public capital, upon which the vast majority of society is dependent. The book describes the ongoing attempts to financialise and commodify this public capital and examines how this occurs in the areas of health, education and pensions. It also analyses the impact of public capital on the ideas and opinions of the population and how it affects contemporary ideologies and politics in Poland.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Figures and Tables
  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • The Welfare State and Public Capital
  • Communism and the Shock Therapy Reforms
  • The Second Transition and European Public Capital
  • Labour Deactivation and Public Capital
  • The Health Care Field
  • The Education Field
  • The Pension Field
  • Social Opinions and the Politics of Public Capital
  • Conclusions
  • Bibliography

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List of Figures and Tables

Figure 1.1: The Functions of Public Capital

Figure 1.2: Crisis, Debt and Austerity

Figure 3.1: Government Income from Privatisations (bn PLN)

Figure 3.2: Government Income and Expenditure (% GDP)

Figure 3.3: Social Spending (% of total)

Figure 3.4: Public Debt 2002–2012 (% GDP)

Figure 3.5: Local Government Debt (bn Euro)

Figure 4.1: Poverty Rates 2000–2011

Figure 6.1: Number of Students in Higher Education

Figure 6.2: Unemployment Rate According to Educational Attainment 2011–2012

Figure 7.1: Public Debt 1999–2011 With and Without Private Pension Transfers

Figure 7.2: Effective Retirement Age

Table 1.1: Government Finance Figures of Eurozone Countries 1999–2010

Table 3.2: Top statutory income tax rates and standard VAT rates (%)

Table 3.3: Personal Income Tax Rates in Poland (%)

Table 3.4: Corporation Income Tax Rates in Poland (%)

Table 4.1: Employment, Activity and Unemployment Rates by Gender

Table 4.2: Size and Use of Selected Public Services (1990–2010)

Table 4.3: Share of Employment and Salaries for Selected Occupations (%)

Table 5.1: Health System During Communism (in thousands)

Table 5.2: Hospitals in Poland 1990–2011

Table 5.3: Health Care Expenditure 1990–2010

Table 5.4: Percentage of Households Using Different Health Services

Table 5.5: Percentage of households that have resigned from medical treatment due to a lack of funds

Table 5.6: Health Care Professionals in Poland 1990–2011

Table 6.1: Number of Higher Education Institutions 1989/90 to 2010/11

Table 6.2: Number of Schools

Table 6.3: Number of Pre-Schools

Table 6.4: Number of Education Institutions ← 9 | 10 →

Table 6.5: Number of Teachers

Table 6.6: Number of Public and Non-Public Higher Education Institutions

Table 7.1: Poland’s Three Pillar Pension System

Table 7.2: Effect of the 1999 Pension Reform on Public Debt

Table 8.1: Etatism and Neo-Liberalism

Table 8.2: Attitudes towards Privatisation: Do you think the following should be privately or state-owned?

Table 8.3: Regression Analysis of Attitudes Towards Privatisation

Table 8.4: Attitudes towards government intervention in the economy. Do you believe the state should

Table 8.5: Attitudes to government intervention on social issues. Should the government

Table 8.6: Regression analysis of government intervention on economic issues

Table 8.7: Regression analysis of government intervention on social issues

Table 8.8: Social advantages of state companies. Do you think that state or private companies are better regarding

Table 8.9: Economic advantages of state companies. Do you think that state or private companies are better regarding

Table 8.10: Regression Analysis of Economic Advantages of Private / state Companies

Table 8.11: Regression Analysis of Social Advantages of State / private Companies

Table 8.12: The Commercialisation of public services

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I would like to thank Kozminski University for their support in the publication of this book. In particular I am grateful to Professor Witold Morawski for the time he spent reading and commenting on the manuscript. The opinion poll data used in the book is from a research project carried out by a team at Kozminski University into economic attitudes in Poland after the economic crisis. I would like to particularly thank Professor Krzysztof Zagórski for coordinating this project and Katarzyna Piotrowska for assisting in the statistical analysis of the data. I am also indebted to my friend Kevin Hadley who meticulously checked a draft of the book, giving a number of useful comments and suggestions. Finally I would like to give a special mention to my greatest inspiration, my daughter Amelia.

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ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2015 (April)
Kommerzialisierung Privatisierung Öffentlicher Sektor Wohlfahrtsstaat
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2015. 202 pp., 33 tables, 12 graphs

Biographical notes

Gavin Rae (Author)

Gavin Rae is associate professor of Sociology at Kozminski University in Warsaw. His main interest is the post-communist transition and European Union expansion in Central and Eastern Europe with a particular focus upon Poland.


Title: Privatising Capital
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204 pages