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The Costs and Benefits of Privatization in Argentina: A Microeconomic Analysis

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  • Federico Sturzenegger
  • Ernesto Schargrodsky
  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Paul Gertler

Abstract

Since the beginning of the 1980s, the world has undergone a major shift in thinking about the appropriate economic role of the state. Privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) has been at the heart of this change. The track record on privatization, however, is still very limited. This holds true for Argentina, which undertook an extensive privatization effort. But has it improved the welfare of Argentine workers and consumers? How has the transfer of local water and sewerage firms to private hands impacted health indicators such as child mortality? Given the massive layoffs involved, have post-privatization gains in profitability come at the expense of workers? Analyzing data for both financial and non-financial firms, this paper answers these and other questions to set the record straight on privatization in Argentina.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department in its series Research Department Publications with number 3148.

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Date of creation: Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:3148

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  1. Caves, Richard E., 1990. "Lessons from privatization in Britain : State enterprise behavior, public choice, and corporate governance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 145-169, March.
  2. Jacobson, Louis S & LaLonde, Robert J & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1993. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(4), pages 685-709, September.
  3. Vining, Aidan R & Boardman, Anthony E, 1992. " Ownership versus Competition: Efficiency in Public Enterprise," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 73(2), pages 205-39, March.
  4. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  5. Clarke, George R. G. & Cull, Robert, 1999. "Provincial bank privatization in Argentina : the why, how, and"so what"?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2159, The World Bank.
  6. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane, 1997. "The Benefits of Privatization: Evidence from Mexico," NBER Working Papers 6215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Galiani, Sebastian & Petrecolla, Diego, 1996. "The changing role of the public sector: An ex-post view of the privatization process in Argentina," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 131-152.
  9. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1987. "What Do We Know About Worker Displacement in the U.S.?," NBER Working Papers 2402, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ruhm, Christopher J, 1991. "Are Workers Permanently Scarred by Job Displacements?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 319-24, March.
  11. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
  12. Megginson, William L & Nash, Robert C & van Randenborgh, Matthias, 1994. " The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: An International Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 403-52, June.
  13. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
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