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Asset stripping and firm survival in mass privatization: Testing the Hoff-Stiglitz and Campos-Giovannoni models in Montenegro

Author

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  • Koman, Matjaž
  • Lakićević, Milan
  • Prašnikar, Janez
  • Svejnar, Jan

Abstract

We provide the first test of and find support for the Hoff and Stiglitz (2004a,b) model predicting under what conditions mass privatizations are accompanied by asset stripping. We also test and do not find support for the main prediction of the Campos and Giovannoni (2006) model. In addition to testing the theory, we tackle an important policy-oriented issue of why a large number of efficient firms disappeared during mass privatization in the booming economy of Montenegro. Econometrically, we present the first study to look at firms that disappeared during a mass privatization transition, improving upon prior studies that focused only on existing firms and ignored survival bias. Our analysis suggests that asset stripping and firm disappearance were present, and that asset stripping was a likely reason for the loss of efficient firms. We show that because more productive firms were liquidated, it is important to model survival bias in the selection of firms remaining in samples when estimating the effects of privatization or other ownership changes. We also show that one needs to distinguish between true start-ups and liquidated firms that re-appear as start-ups. In the absence of the rule of law, many firms that appear to have disappeared were in fact appropriated by managers and politically connected individuals.

Suggested Citation

  • Koman, Matjaž & Lakićević, Milan & Prašnikar, Janez & Svejnar, Jan, 2015. "Asset stripping and firm survival in mass privatization: Testing the Hoff-Stiglitz and Campos-Giovannoni models in Montenegro," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 274-289.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:43:y:2015:i:2:p:274-289
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2014.10.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Janez Prasnikar & Jan Svejnar, 1991. "Workers' Participation in Management vs. Social Ownership and Government Policies: Yugoslav Lessons for Transforming Socialist Economies*," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 33(4), pages 27-45, December.
    2. Polona Domadenik & Janez Prašnikar & Jan Svejnar, 2008. "Restructuring of firms in transition: ownership, institutions and openness to trade," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 39(4), pages 725-746, June.
    3. Matjaž Koman & Ljubica KneževiÄ Cvelbar & Anðelko Lojpur & Janez PraÅ¡nikar, 2011. "Effects of Ownership and Management Changes on Productivity in Privatized Montenegrin Firms," Eastern European Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(3), pages 5-25, May.
    4. Simeon Djankov & Peter Murrell, 2002. "Enterprise Restructuring in Transition: A Quantitative Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(3), pages 739-792, September.
    5. Karla Hoff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2004. "After the Big Bang? Obstacles to the Emergence of the Rule of Law in Post-Communist Societies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 753-763, June.
    6. Božidar Cerović & Radmila Mitrović, 2007. "Privatisation Effects: Some Evidence from Serbia," Transition Studies Review, Springer;Central Eastern European University Network (CEEUN), vol. 14(3), pages 469-487, December.
    7. Alan Bevan & Saul Estrin & Mark E. Schaffer, 1999. "Determinants of Enterprise Performance during Transition," CERT Discussion Papers 9903, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    8. Campos, Nauro F & Giovannoni, Francesco, 2006. "The Determinants of Asset Stripping: Theory and Evidence from the Transition Economies," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 681-706, October.
    9. Karla Hoff & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2008. "Exiting a Lawless State," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(531), pages 1474-1497, August.
    10. Shirley, Mary & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "Public versus private ownership : the current state of the debate," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2420, The World Bank.
    11. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2004. "The transition from communism : a diagrammatic exposition of obstacles to the demand for the rule of law," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3352, The World Bank.
    12. Saul Estrin & Jan Hanousek & Evzen Kocenda & Jan Svejnar, 2009. "The Effects of Privatization and Ownership in Transition Economies," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(3), pages 699-728, September.
    13. Gupta, Nandini & Ham, Jhon C. & Svejnar, Jan, 2008. "Priorities and sequencing in privatization: Evidence from Czech firm panel data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 183-208, February.
    14. 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.
    15. Bole, Velimir & Prašnikar, Janez & Trobec, Domen, 2014. "Policy measures in the deleveraging process: A macroprudential evaluation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 410-432.
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    Keywords

    Asset stripping; Mass privatization; Firm survival; Selection bias;

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • P24 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - National Income, Product, and Expenditure; Money; Inflation
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions

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