IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Reluctant regulation

  • Bortolotti, Bernardo
  • Cambini, Carlo
  • Rondi, Laura

We study the effect of state ownership on the market-to-book ratios of publicly traded European utilities from 1994 to 2005. We find that when the company is subject to independent regulation, state ownership seems positively associated with firm value. This relation tends to appear in countries where weak checks and balances and political fragmentation do not constrain the power of the executive. Our results suggest that, where political institutions are weak, politicians may influence regulatory agencies in order to benefit state-owned firms.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 804-828

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:3:p:804-828
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Oliver Hart & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1996. "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1778, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1999. "Investor Protection and Corporate Valuation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1882, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1998. "The size and scope of government: Comparative politics with rational politicians," Seminar Papers 658, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Gugler, Klaus, 2003. "Corporate governance, dividend payout policy, and the interrelation between dividends, R&D, and capital investment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1297-1321, July.
  5. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 11.
  6. Guido Tabellini, 2010. "Culture and Institutions: Economic Development in the Regions of Europe," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 677-716, 06.
  7. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:4:p:995-1025 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Aghion, Philippe & Algan, Yann & Cahuc, Pierre & Shleifer, Andrei, 2010. "Regulation and Distrust," Scholarly Articles 12490649, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Colin Xu, Lixin & Li, Wei & Zhen-Wei Qiang, Christine, 2001. "The Political Economy of Privatization and Competition: Cross-Country Evidence from the Telecommunications Sector," CEPR Discussion Papers 2825, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  11. David E. M. Sappington & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1987. "Privatization, Information and Incentives," NBER Working Papers 2196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Torsten Persson & Gerard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 2007. "Electoral Rules and Government Spending in Parliamentary Democracies," Levine's Working Paper Archive 321307000000000880, David K. Levine.
  13. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer, 1998. "Corporate Ownership Around the World," NBER Working Papers 6625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Janice A. Hauge & Mark A. Jamison & James E. Prieger, 2012. "Oust the Louse: Does Political Pressure Discipline Regulators?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 299-332, 06.
  15. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Do Political Institutions Shape Economic Policy?," NBER Working Papers 8214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Armstrong, Mark & Porter, Robert, 2007. "Preface to the Handbook of Industrial Organization, Volume 3," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  17. Marco Pagano & Paolo Volpin, 1999. "The Political Economy of Corporate Governance," CSEF Working Papers 29, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 01 Jul 2005.
  18. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1991. "Privatization and Incentives," Working papers 572, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1996. "Industrial policy and politics," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 1-27.
  20. David Martimort, 2006. "An Agency Perspective on the Costs and Benefits of Privatization," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 5-44, 07.
  21. Baldwin, Robert & Cave, Martin & Lodge, Martin, 2011. "Understanding Regulation: Theory, Strategy, and Practice," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780199576098.
  22. I. Serdar Dinc & Nandini Gupta, 2011. "The Decision to Privatize: Finance and Politics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 66(1), pages 241-269, 02.
  23. Tomaso Duso, 2005. "Lobbying and regulation in a political economy: Evidence from the U.S. cellular industry," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 251-276, March.
  24. Armstrong, Mark & Sappington, David E.M., 2007. "Recent Developments in the Theory of Regulation," Handbook of Industrial Organization, Elsevier.
  25. Witold J. Henisz & Bennet A. Zelner, 2001. "The Institutional Environment for Telecommunications Investment," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 123-147, 03.
  26. Enrico Spolaore, 2004. "Adjustments in Different Government Systems," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(2), pages 117-146, 07.
  27. Carlo Cambini & Laura Rondi, 2011. "Independence, Investment and Political Interference: Evidence from the European Union," RSCAS Working Papers 2011/42, European University Institute.
  28. Alesina, Alberto & Tabellini, Guido, 2008. "Bureaucrats or politicians? Part II: Multiple policy tasks," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 426-447, April.
  29. Mark Armstrong & David Sappington, 2005. "Regulation, Competition and Liberalization," Industrial Organization 0505011, EconWPA, revised 07 Oct 2005.
  30. 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.
  31. Perotti, Enrico C, 1995. "Credible Privatization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 847-59, September.
  32. John Kwoka, 2006. "The Role of Competition in Natural Monopoly: Costs, Public Ownership, and Regulation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 127-147, September.
  33. Larry Lang & Eli Ofek & Rene M. Stulz, 1995. "Leverage, Investment, and Firm Growth," NBER Working Papers 5165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Graeme Guthrie, 2006. "Regulating Infrastructure: The Impact on Risk and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(4), pages 925-972, December.
  35. Jean Tirole & Jean-Jaques Laffont, 1985. "Using Cost Observation to Regulate Firms," Working papers 368, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  36. Hans Pitlik, 2007. "A race to liberalization? Diffusion of economic policy reform among OECD-economies," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 132(1), pages 159-178, July.
  37. Bernardo Bortolotti & Paolo Pinotti, 2008. "Delayed privatization," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 663, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  38. Duso, Tomaso & Seldeslachts, Jo, 2010. "The political economy of mobile telecommunications liberalization: Evidence from the OECD countries," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 199-216, June.
  39. Ela Glowicka, 2006. "Effectiveness of Bailouts in the EU," CIG Working Papers SP II 2006-05, Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG).
  40. Potrafke, Niklas, 2010. "Does government ideology influence deregulation of product markets? Empirical evidence from OECD countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 19284, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  41. Germà Bel & Ferran Elias-Moreno, 2009. "Institutional Determinants of Military Spending," IREA Working Papers 200922, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Oct 2009.
  42. Bortolotti, Bernardo & Cambini, Carlo & Rondi, Laura & Spiegel, Yossi, 2008. "Capital Structure and Regulation: Do Ownership and Regulatory Independence Matter?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7100, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  43. Nandini Gupta, 2005. "Partial Privatization and Firm Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 987-1015, 04.
  44. Daron Acemoglu, 2005. "Constitutions, Politics and Economics: A Review Essay on Persson and Tabellini's "The Economic Effect of Constitutions"," NBER Working Papers 11235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  45. W. J. Henisz, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, 03.
  46. Guthrie, Graeme, 2006. "Regulating Infrastructure: The Impact on Risk and Investment," Working Paper Series 3851, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
  47. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1990. "Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-612, October.
  48. Christian Bjørnskov & Niklas Potrafke, 2011. "Politics and privatization in Central and Eastern Europe," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 19(2), pages 201-230, 04.
  49. Laffont,Jean-Jacques, 2005. "Regulation and Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521840187, October.
  50. Ginka Borisova & William L. Megginson, 2011. "Does Government Ownership Affect the Cost of Debt? Evidence from Privatization," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 24(8), pages 2693-2737.
  51. Claessens, Stijn & Djankov, Simeon & Lang, Larry H. P., 2000. "The separation of ownership and control in East Asian Corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 81-112.
  52. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
  53. Yossef Spiegel & Daniel F. Spulber, 1994. "The Capital Structure of a Regulated Firm," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 424-440, Autumn.
  54. Guerriero, Carmine, 2011. "Accountability in government and regulatory policies: Theory and evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 453-469.
  55. Bennedsen, Morten, 2000. "Political ownership," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 559-581, June.
  56. Paul Conway & Giuseppe Nicoletti, 2006. "Product Market Regulation in the Non-Manufacturing Sectors of OECD Countries: Measurement and Highlights," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 530, OECD Publishing.
  57. Bernardo Bortolotti & Mara Faccio, 2009. "Government Control of Privatized Firms," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(8), pages 2907-2939, August.
  58. Shapiro, C. & Willing, D.R., 1990. "Economic Rationales For The Scope Of Privatization," Papers 41, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  59. John E. Kwoka, Jr., 2002. "Governance Alternatives and Pricing in the U.S. Electric Power Industry," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 278-294, April.
  60. Levy, Brian & Spiller, Pablo T, 1994. "The Institutional Foundations of Regulatory Commitment: A Comparative Analysis of Telecommunications Regulation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 201-46, October.
  61. Geoff Edwards & Leonard Waverman, 2006. "The Effects of Public Ownership and Regulatory Independence on Regulatory Outcomes," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 23-67, 01.
  62. Philip Keefer & Stephen Knack, 2007. "Boondoggles, Rent-Seeking, and Political Checks and Balances: Public Investment under Unaccountable Governments," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 566-572, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:41:y:2013:i:3:p:804-828. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.