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Privatization and labor policies


  • Chong, Alberto
  • Guillen, Jorge
  • López-de-Silanes, Florencio


Using new data we analyze retrenchment programs before privatization, their effect on prices paid and re-hiring policies pursued by the new private owners. We find evidence in support of skimming and adverse selection. We find that some labor retrenchment policies have a negative impact on net privatization prices, even after taking sample selection bias and endogeneity into account. Some downsizing policies may lead to a higher frequency of post-privatization re-hiring. Skill-biased retrenchment programs are the only ones marginally associated with higher privatization prices and minimal re-hiring rates after privatization. But the political and economic costs of such programs may make them impractical.

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  • Chong, Alberto & Guillen, Jorge & López-de-Silanes, Florencio, 2011. "Privatization and labor policies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(9-10), pages 1119-1130, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:95:y:2011:i:9-10:p:1119-1130

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Paulo Bastos & Natália Pimenta Monteiro & Odd Rune Straume, 2012. "Privatization and corporate restructuring," NIPE Working Papers 10/2012, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    2. 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.
    3. Boubakri, Narjess & Cosset, Jean-Claude & Saffar, Walid, 2017. "The constraints on full privatization: International evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 392-407.
    4. Daniel Berkowitz, 2016. "Recasting the Iron Rice Bowl: The Reform of China's State Owned Enterprises," Working Paper 5858, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    5. Ben-Nasr, Hamdi, 2016. "Labor protection and government control: Evidence from privatized firms," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 485-498.
    6. Alberto Chong & Gianmarco León, 2007. "Privatized Firms, Rule of Law and Labor Outcomes in Emerging Markets," Research Department Publications 4524, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    7. Alberto Chong & Gianmarco León, 2007. "Empresas privatizadas, instituciones y consecuencias laborales en paises emergentes," Research Department Publications 4525, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    8. Belkhir, Mohamed & Ben-Nasr, Hamdi, 2016. "Labor protection and the privatization or partial privatization method," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 305-322.

    More about this item


    Privatization Prices Downsizing Labor Adverse selection Re-hiring;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • H10 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - General
    • J45 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Public Sector Labor Markets
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


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