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Privatization And Efficiency: From Principals And Agents To Political Economy

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  • Alberto Cavaliere
  • Simona Scabrosetti

Abstract

We survey the theoretical literature on privatization and efficiency by tracing its evolution from the applications of agency theory to recent contributions in the field of political economy. The former extend the theory of regulation with incomplete information to address privatization issues, comparing state-owned enterprises with private regulated firms. The benefits of privatization may derive either from the constraints it places on malevolent agents or from the impossibility of commitment by a benevolent government because of incomplete contracts. Contributions dealing with political economy issues separate privatization from restructuring decisions. They either explore bargaining between managers and politicians or analyse the impact of privatization shaped by political preferences on efficiency. The theoretical results regarding the relation between privatization and efficiency do not lead to any definitive conclusion. Privatization may increase productive efficiency when restructuring takes place whereas its effects on allocative efficiency still remain uncertain. Copyright � 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation � 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Journal of Economic Surveys.

Volume (Year): 22 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (09)
Pages: 685-710

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jecsur:v:22:y:2008:i:4:p:685-710

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References

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  1. Laffont, Jean-Jacques & Tirole, Jean, 1986. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 614-41, June.
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  3. Schmidt,Klaus M., 1991. "The costs and benefits of privatization," Discussion Paper Serie A 330, University of Bonn, Germany.
  4. Bernardo Bortolotti & Paolo Pinotti, 2003. "The Political Economy of Privatization," Working Papers 2003.45, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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  7. Robinson, James A. & Torvik, Ragnar, 2009. "A political economy theory of the soft budget constraint," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 786-798, October.
  8. Bruno Biais & Enrico Perotti, 2002. "Machiavellian Privatization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 240-258, March.
  9. Shirley, Mary & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "Public versus private ownership : the current state of the debate," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2420, The World Bank.
  10. Schmidt, Klaus M., 1996. "The costs and benefits of privatization: An incomplete contracts approach," Munich Reprints in Economics 19773, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Loeb, Martin & Magat, Wesley A, 1979. "A Decentralized Method for Utility Regulation," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 399-404, October.
  12. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  13. Bortolotti, Bernardo & Siniscalco, Domenico, 2004. "The Challenges of Privatization: An International Analysis," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199249343.
  14. Shapiro, C. & Willing, D.R., 1990. "Economic Rationales For The Scope Of Privatization," Papers 41, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  15. John Vickers & George Yarrow, 1988. "Privatization: An Economic Analysis," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262720116, December.
  16. Kornai, Janos, 1986. "The Soft Budget Constraint," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(1), pages 3-30.
  17. Bernardo Bortolotti & Marcella Fantini & Domenico Siniscalco, 2001. "Privatisation Around the World: New Evidence from Panel Data," CESifo Working Paper Series 600, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1996. "Industrial policy and politics," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
  19. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Polterovich, Victor, 2012. "Приватизация и рациональная структура собственности (Privatizatsiya i ratsional’naya struktura sobstvennosti)
    [Privatization and the Rational Owners
    ," MPRA Paper 41069, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Mühlenkamp, Holger, 2013. "From state to market revisited: more empirical evidence on the efficiency of public (and privately-owned) enterprises," MPRA Paper 47570, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Natália P. Monteiro & Miguel Portela & Odd Rune Straume, 2010. "Firm ownership and rent sharing," NIPE Working Papers 13/2010, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  4. Heshmati, Almas, 2012. "Survey of Models on Demand, Customer Base-Line and Demand Response and Their Relationships in the Power Market," IZA Discussion Papers 6637, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Bárcena-Ruiz, Juan Carlos, 2012. "Privatization when the public firm is as efficient as private firms," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1019-1023.
  6. Polterovich, V., 2013. "On Control of the Ownership Structure," Journal of the New Economic Association, New Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 177-182.
  7. Sourav Bhattacharya & Tapas Kundu, 2011. "Resistance, Redistribution and Investor Friendliness," Working Papers 454, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2012.
  8. Hai Wang & Weidong Zhang & Jingjing Wang, 2007. "Auctioning the state owned enterprise in China: the trade-off between maximizing revenue and minimizing unemployment," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 267-280, September.

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