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Threatening to Increase Productivity: Evidence from Brazil's Oil Industry

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  • Bridgman, Benjamin
  • Gomes, Victor
  • Teixeira, Arilton

Abstract

Summary The wave of privatization in the 1980s and 1990s increased productivity of many previously state owned enterprises (SOEs). However, governments often do not have sufficient support to privatize SOEs. We provide evidence that threatening privatization and market competition (entry of new firms) can increase the productivity of SOEs, even though privatization and entry of new firms does not occur. We study productivity at Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras. Petrobras's total factor productivity increased sharply after it lost its legal monopoly, doubling in 6Â years. These large gains occurred despite the fact that Petrobras faced no immediate de facto competition. The threat of competition and privatization was sufficient to generate large productivity gains. These findings suggest that changing the competitive environment can be a powerful force for improving productivity at state-owned firms.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 1372-1385

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Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:8:p:1372-1385

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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Keywords: productivity competition oil South America Brazil;

References

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  1. James A. Schmitz, Jr. & Arilton Teixeira, 2008. "Privatization's Impact on Private Productivity: The Case of Brazilian Iron Ore," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 745-760, October.
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  5. Garcia, Patricio & Knights, Peter F. & Tilton, John E., 2001. "Labor productivity and comparative advantage in mining:: the copper industry in Chile," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 97-105, June.
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  7. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Monopoly rights: a barrier to riches," Staff Report 236, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Mirta N.S. Bugarin & Roberto Ellery Jr & Victor Gomes & Arilton Teixeira, 2002. "The Brazilian Depression in the 1980s and 1990s," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 338, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
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  13. Mirta N. S. Bugarin & Roberto Ellery Jr. & Victor Gomes & Arilton Teixeira, 2005. "From Miracle to Disaster: the Brazilian Economy in the Last 3 Decades," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_009, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  14. Dale W. Jorgenson & Kevin J. Stiroh, 2000. "Raising the Speed Limit: U.S. Economic Growth in the Information Age," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(1), pages 125-236.
  15. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  16. José E. Galdón-Sánchez & James A. Schmitz Jr., 2002. "Competitive Pressure and Labor Productivity: World Iron-Ore Markets in the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1222-1235, September.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sanghamitra Das & Kala Krishna & Sergey Lychagin & Rohini Somanathan, 2013. "Back on the Rails: Competition and Productivity in State-Owned Industry," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 136-62, January.
  2. John E. Tilton, 2013. "Cyclical and Secular Determinants of Productivity in the Copper, Aluminum, Iron Ore, and Coal Industries," Working Papers 2013-11, Colorado School of Mines, Division of Economics and Business.
  3. Benjamin Bridgman, 2011. "Competition, Work Rules and Productivity," 2011 Meeting Papers 289, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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