From state to private ownership: Issues from strategic industries
This paper investigates the effects of privatization for a panel of 189 firms from strategic industries headquartered in 39 countries, and privatized between 1984 and 2002. Strategic firms can hardly be compared to manufacturing or competitive industries as they are generally under state monopoly, and involve specific issues such as regulation, political and institutional constraints. We examine the change in ownership and postprivatization means of control by the government, and assess whether positive changes in performance obtain in these particular industries that include firms from the financial, mining, steel, telecommunications, transportation, utilities, and oil sectors. We document that governments continue to exert influence on former state-owned firms after three years by retaining golden shares and/or appointing politicians to key positions in the firm. Our multivariate results reveal a negative effect of state ownership on profitability and operating efficiency, which the presence of a sound institutional and political environment moderates.
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