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Ownership structure and the temptation to loot : evidence from privatized firms in the Czech Republic

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  • Cull, Robert
  • Matesova, Jana
  • Shirley, Mary

Abstract

Using a new data set on privatized firms in the Czech Republic, the authors examine how the design of privatization affects outcomes. Earlier studies of privatization in the Czech Republic focused largely on how the broad distribution of shares through vouchers may have motivated the new owners to strip assets from the privatized firms. The authors find evidence for static asset stripping, but also for what Akerlof and Romer (1993) call looting - borrowing heavily with no intent to repay and using the loans for private purposes. This looting occurred because the larger privatized companies had privileged access to credit from state-controlled banks, which had little incentive to enforce debt contracts. The policy implications are significant: financial incentives and regulation are as important as ownership structure in the design of privatization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2568.

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Date of creation: 31 Mar 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2568

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Related research

Keywords: International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Private Participation in Infrastructure; Small Scale Enterprise; Microfinance; Economic Theory&Research;

References

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  1. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Credit Markets and the Control of Capital," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(2), pages 133-52, May.
  2. Demsetz, Harold & Lehn, Kenneth, 1985. "The Structure of Corporate Ownership: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1155-77, December.
  3. Anna Meyendorff & Edward A. Snyder, 1997. "Transactional Structures of Bank Privatization in Central Europe and Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  4. George A. Akerlof & Paul M. Romer, 1993. "Looting: The Economic Underworld of Bankruptcy for Profit," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(2), pages 1-74.
  5. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1990. "Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-612, October.
  6. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  7. Snyder, Edward A. & Kormendi, Roger C., 1997. "Privatization and Performance of the Czech Republic's Komercni Banka," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 97-128, August.
  8. Hrncir, M., 1993. "Financial Intermediation in the Czech Republic: Lessons and Progress Evaluation," Papers, Cambridge - D.P. on Economic Transition 9302, Cambridge - D.P. on Economic Transition.
  9. Demsetz, Harold, 1983. "The Structure of Ownership and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 375-90, June.
  10. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Pohl, Gerhard, 1997. "Ownership and corporate governance : evidence from the Czech Republic," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1737, The World Bank.
  11. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1840, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  12. Andrew Weiss & Georgiy Nikitin, 1998. "Performance of Czech Companies by Ownership Structure," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development 85, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  13. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research 1741, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  14. Hayri, Aydin & McDermott, Gerald A, 1998. "The Network Properties of Corporate Governance and Industrial Restructuring: A Post-Socialist Lesson," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(1), pages 153-93, March.
  15. Gray, Cheryl W., 1992. "The legal framework for private sector activity in the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1051, The World Bank.
  16. Frydman, Roman & Gray, Cheryl W. & Hessel, Marek & Rapaczynski, Andrzej, 1997. "Private ownership and corporate performance : some lessons from transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1830, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Stepan Jurajda & Katherine Terrell, 2002. "What Drives the Speed of Job Reallocation During Episodes of Massive Adjustment?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 432, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. Judy Day & Peter Taylor, 2004. "Institutional Change and Debt-based Corporate Governance: A Comparative Analysis of Four Transition Economies," Journal of Management and Governance, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 73-115, March.

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