IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Privatization and Management Incentives: Evidence from the United Kingdom


  • Michael I. Cragg
  • I. J. Alexander Dyck


This article examines whether privatization affects management incentives and provides an estimate of the magnitude of the change. Using data from large firms in the United Kingdom, we find no relationship between compensation and financial performance in state-owned firms, both before and after corporate governance reforms. In contrast, we find a strong sensitivity in privatized firms both immediately and in more mature privatized firms driven largely by stock options and shareholding. For more mature privatized firms, compensation and dismissal sensitivities are complementary with our estimates, suggesting a 443,000 pound increase in management returns for a one standard deviation improvement in firm performance. This estimated incentive intensity is higher than in established publicly traded firms. Our results support the theoretical focus on incentives in the dominant theories of state and private ownership. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael I. Cragg & I. J. Alexander Dyck, 2003. "Privatization and Management Incentives: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 176-217, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:19:y:2003:i:1:p:176-217

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brunetti, Aymo & Weder, Beatrice, 2003. "A free press is bad news for corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1801-1824, August.
    2. Torsten Persson & Gérard Roland & Guido Tabellini, 1997. "Separation of Powers and Political Accountability," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1163-1202.
    3. Stephen Knack & Philip Keefer, 1995. "Institutions And Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Measures," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 207-227, November.
    4. Rogowski, Ronald, 1987. "Trade and the variety of democratic institutions," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 41(02), pages 203-223, March.
    5. Knack, Stephen & Keefer, Philip, 1995. "Institutions and Economic Performance: Cross-Country Tests Using Alternative Institutional Indicators," MPRA Paper 23118, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. John Ferejohn, 1986. "Incumbent performance and electoral control," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 5-25, January.
    7. Robert Barro, 1973. "The control of politicians: An economic model," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 19-42, March.
    8. repec:cup:apsrev:v:91:y:1997:i:03:p:531-551_21 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Kaufmann, Daniel & Kraay, Aart & Zoido-Lobaton, Pablo, 1999. "Aggregating governance indicators," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2195, The World Bank.
    10. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kato, Takao & Long, Cheryl, 2006. "Executive Compensation, Firm Performance, and Corporate Governance in China: Evidence from Firms Listed in the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 945-983, July.
    2. K. Arin & Mehmet Ulubaşoğlu, 2009. "Leviathan resists: the endogenous relationship between privatization and firm performance," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 185-204, July.
    3. Kato, Takao & Kim, Woochan & Lee, Ju Ho, 2007. "Executive compensation, firm performance, and Chaebols in Korea: Evidence from new panel data," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 36-55, January.
    4. Federico Quaresima & Fabio Fiorillo, 2016. "The Economics of Politics: Patronage and Political Selection in Italy," CESifo Working Paper Series 6233, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Mark Armstrong & David E.M. Sappington, 2006. "Regulation, Competition and Liberalization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(2), pages 325-366, June.
    6. Takao Kato & Cheryl Long, 2004. "Executive Compensation, Firm Performance, and State Ownership in China: Evidence from New Panel Data," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-690, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Scheele, Ulrich, 2007. "Privatisierung, Liberalisierung und Deregulierung in netzgebundenen Infrastruktursektoren," Forschungs- und Sitzungsberichte der ARL: Aufsätze,in: Wandel der Stromversorgung und räumliche Politik, pages 35-67 Akademie für Raumforschung und Landesplanung (ARL) - Leibniz-Forum für Raumwissenschaften.
    8. Panagiotis Staikouras, 2004. "Structural Reform Policy: Privatisation and Beyond—The Case of Greece," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 373-398, May.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:19:y:2003:i:1:p:176-217. 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: (Oxford University Press) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.