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Mass privatization, management control and efficiency

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  • Boss, Dieter
  • Harms, Phillipp

Abstract

We present a model where a government chooses the number of individuals to which ownership in a former state-owned firm shall be allocated. When making this decision the government maximizes the political support it gets from the firm's incumbent manager and from potential shareholders, anticipating that a greater dispersion of shares reduces the control of the manager by the firm's new owners. It turns out that shares will be allocated to the maximum number of individuals - and thus a policy of mass privatization will be implemented - if the manager's utility enters the political support function with a higher weight than the welfare of the potential shareholders. The result of the political process, however, need not conflict with the objective of achieving a Pareto-optimal allocation. Thus we contradict a widely shared presumption that mass privatization schemes sacrifice efficiency to satisfy political constraints and show that they can be very attractive from an efficiency point of view.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 64 (1997)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 343-357

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:64:y:1997:i:3:p:343-357

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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References

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  1. Roland, G. & Verdier, T., 1991. "Privatisation in Eastern Europe: Irreversibility and Critical Mass Effects," Papers 9105, Universite Libre de Bruxelles - C.E.M.E..
  2. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
  3. Border, Kim C & Sobel, Joel, 1987. "Samurai Accountant: A Theory of Auditing and Plunder," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(4), pages 525-40, October.
  4. Schmidt,Klaus & Schnitzer,Monika, 1992. "Privatization and management incentives in the transition period in Eastern Europe," Discussion Paper Serie A 374, University of Bonn, Germany.
  5. Patrick Bolton, 1995. "Privatization and the separation of ownership and control: lessons from Chinese enterprise reform," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 3(1), pages 1-11, 03.
  6. David Lipton & Jeffrey Sachs, 1990. "Privitization in Eastern Europe: The Case of Poland," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(2), pages 293-342.
  7. David P. Baron & David Besanko, 1984. "Regulation, Asymmetric Information, and Auditing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 447-470, Winter.
  8. Maxim Boycko & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1993. "Privatizing Russia," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 139-192.
  9. Jean Tirole, 1991. "Privatization in Eastern Europe: Incentives and the Economics of Transition," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 221-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1994. "Voucher privatization," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 249-266, April.
  11. John S. Earle & Saul Estrin, 1995. "Alternative ownership forms: the impact on restructuring," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 3(1), pages 111-115, 03.
  12. Coughlin, Peter J. & Mueller, Dennis C. & Murrell, Peter, 1990. "A model of electroral competition with interest groups," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 307-311, April.
  13. Aghion, Philippe & Blanchard, Olivier & Burgess, Robin, 1994. "The behaviour of state firms in eastern Europe, pre-privatisation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 1327-1349, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Börner, Kira, 2004. "The Political Economy of Privatization," Discussion Papers in Economics 296, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. Hansen, Nico A., 1997. "Privatization, technology choice and aggregate outcomes," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 425-442, June.
  3. Drook-Gal, Bat-Sheva & Epstein, Gil S. & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2004. "Contestable privatization," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 377-387, July.
  4. Marko Pahor & Janez Prasnikar & Anuska Ferligoj, 2004. "Building a corporate network in a transition economy: the case of Slovenia," Post-Communist Economies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 307-331.
  5. Kira Boerner, 2004. "The Political Economy of Privatization: Why Do Governments Want Reforms?," Working Papers 2004.106, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  6. Francesc Trillas, 2004. "The structure of corporate ownership in privatized utilities," Investigaciones Economicas, Fundación SEPI, vol. 28(2), pages 257-284, May.
  7. Druk-Gal, Bat-Sheva & Yaari, Varda, 2006. "Incumbent employees' resistance to implementing privatization policy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 374-405, March.
  8. Cheikbossian, Guillaume, 2003. "Property rights, rent-seeking and aggregate outcomes in transition economies," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 271-288, September.

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