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Priorities and sequencing in privatization: Evidence from Czech firm panel data

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  • Gupta, Nandini
  • Ham, Jhon C.
  • Svejnar, Jan

Abstract

While privatization of state-owned enterprises has been one of the most important aspects of the economic transition from a centrally planned to a market system, no transition economy has privatized all its firms simultaneously. This raises the question of whether governments privatize firms strategically. In this paper we examine the determinants of the sequencing of privatization. To obtain testable predictions about the factors that may affect sequencing, we investigate the following competing government objectives: (i) Maximizing efficiency through resource allocation; (ii) maximizing public goodwill from the free transfers of shares to the public; (iii) minimizing political costs; (iv) maximizing efficiency through information gains; and (v) maximizing privatization revenues. Next, we use firm-level data from the Czech Republic to test the competing predictions about the sequencing of privatization. Consistent with the hypotheses of a government priority on revenues and public goodwill, we find strong evidence that more profitable firms were privatized first. The sequencing of privatization is also consistent with maximizing efficiency through information gains. Our results indicate that many empirical studies of the effects of privatization on firm performance suffer from a selection bias.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 52 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 183-208

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:52:y:2008:i:2:p:183-208

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  17. Bilsen, Valentijn & Konings, Jozef, 1998. "Job Creation, Job Destruction, and Growth of Newly Established, Privatized, and State-Owned Enterprises in Transition Economies: Survey Evidence from Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 429-445, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Niklas Potrafke, 2010. "Labor market deregulation and globalization: empirical evidence from OECD countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 146(3), pages 545-571, September.
  2. Andersson, Fredrik & Jordahl, Henrik, 2011. "Outsourcing Public Services: Ownership, Competition, Quality and Contracting," Working Paper Series 874, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Knyazeva, Anzhela & Knyazeva, Diana & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2013. "Ownership change, institutional development and performance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2605-2627.
  4. Nandini Gupta, 2010. "Selling family silver to pay the grocers bill? The case of privatization in India," Working Papers 2222, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, revised Oct 2010.
  5. �D�M Szentp�Teri & �Lmos Telegdy, 2010. "Political Selection Of Firms Into Privatization Programs. Evidence From Romanian Comprehensive Data," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 298-328, November.
  6. Jan Hagemejer & Joanna Tyrowicz & Jan Svejnar, 2014. "Measuring the Causal Effect of Privatization on Firm Performance," Working Papers 2014-14, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  7. Siddhartha G. Dastidar & Raymond Fisman & Tarun Khanna, 2007. "Testing Limits to Policy Reversal: Evidence from Indian Privatizations," NBER Working Papers 13427, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sweder van Wijnbergen & Tim Willems, 2012. "Learning Dynamics and the Support for Economic Reforms: Why Good News can be Bad," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-043/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  9. Bjørnskov, Christian & Potrafke, Niklas, 2012. "Political ideology and economic freedom across Canadian provinces," Munich Reprints in Economics 20277, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  10. Potrafke, Niklas, 2010. "Does government ideology influence deregulation of product markets? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 19284, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  11. Sweder van Wijnbergen & Tim Willems, 2012. "Learning Dynamics and the Support for Economic Reforms: Why Good News can be Bad," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-043/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. Saul Estrin & Jan Hanousek & Evzen Kocenda & Jan Svejnar, 2009. "The Effects of Privatization and Ownership in Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 699-728, September.
  13. Sprenger, Carsten, 2011. "The choice of ownership structure: Evidence from Russian mass privatization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 260-277, June.
  14. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Politics and privatization in Central and Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(2), pages 201-230, 04.

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