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Privatisation in Developing Countries


  • William L. Megginson
  • Natalie L. Sutter


We survey empirical studies examining privatisation's effects in developing economies. Most of these studies find that privatisation yields improvements in the operating and financial performance of divested firms, and only a handful document outright performance declines after privatisation. Almost all studies that examine post-privatisation changes in output, efficiency, profitability, capital investment spending and leverage document significant increases in the first four measures and significant declines in leverage. The studies examined here are far less unanimous regarding the impact of privatisation on employment levels in privatised firms. Studies that explicitly address the sources of post-privatisation performance improvement using data from multiple non-transition economies tend to find stronger efficiency gains for firms in regulated industries, in firms that restructure operations after privatisation, and in countries providing greater amounts of shareholder protection. Copyright (c) 2006 The Authors; Journal compilation (c) 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • William L. Megginson & Natalie L. Sutter, 2006. "Privatisation in Developing Countries," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(4), pages 234-265, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:corgov:v:14:y:2006:i:4:p:234-265

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carlos Pombo & Manuel Ramirez, 2002. "Privatization in Colombia: a plant performance analysis," BORRADORES DE INVESTIGACIÓN 003377, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO.
    2. Yin-Fang Zhang & David Parker & Colin Kirkpatrick, 2008. "Electricity sector reform in developing countries: an econometric assessment of the effects of privatization, competition and regulation," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 159-178, April.
    3. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Rathindran, Randeep, 2003. "An assessment of telecommunications reform in developing countries," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 443-466, December.
    4. Bjorn Wellenius, 2000. "Extending Telecommunications beyond the Market : Toward Universal Service in Competitive Environments," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11439, The World Bank.
    5. Wallsten, S.J., 2000. "Telecommunications Privatization in Developing Countries: The Real Effects of Exclusivity Periods," Papers 99-031, United Nations World Employment Programme-.
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    Cited by:

    1. Figueiredo, Adelaide & Figueiredo, Fernanda & Monteiro, Natália P. & Straume, Odd Rune, 2012. "Restructuring in privatised firms: A Statis approach," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 108-116.
    2. Mühlenkamp, Holger, 2013. "From state to market revisited: more empirical evidence on the efficiency of public (and privately-owned) enterprises," MPRA Paper 47570, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Liam Wren-Lewis, 2015. "Do Infrastructure Reforms Reduce the Effect of Corruption? Theory and Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 29(2), pages 353-384.
    4. Boubakri, Narjess & Cosset, Jean-Claude & Guedhami, Omrane & Saffar, Walid, 2011. "The political economy of residual state ownership in privatized firms: Evidence from emerging markets," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 244-258, April.
    5. A. Brandão & S. Castro, 2007. "State-owned enterprises as indirect instruments of entry regulation," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 263-274, December.
    6. Chen, Ruiyuan & El Ghoul, Sadok & Guedhami, Omrane & Wang, He, 2017. "Do state and foreign ownership affect investment efficiency? Evidence from privatizations," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 408-421.
    7. Laura Valderrama, 2010. "Privatization Under Regulatory Lobbying," NCID Working Papers 04/2010, Navarra Center for International Development, University of Navarra.
    8. Estrin, Saul & Pelletier, Adeline, 2016. "Privatisation in Developing Countries: What Are the Lessons of Recent Experience?," IZA Discussion Papers 10297, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Choon-Yin Sam, 2013. "Partial privatisation and the role of state owned holding companies in China," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(3), pages 767-789, August.

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