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Threatening to Increase Productivity

  • Arilton Teixeira

    ()

    (FUCAPE Business School)

  • Benjamin Bridgman
  • Victor Gomes

The wave of privatization in the 1980s and 1990s increased productivity of many previously state owned enterprises (SOEs). However, governments often do not have sufficient support to privatize SOEs. We provide evidence that threatening privatization and market competition (entry of new firms) can increase the productivity of SOEs, even though privatization and entry of new firms does not occur. We study productivity at Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras. After it lost its legal monopoly, Petrobras total factor productivity increased sharply. These large gains occurred despite the fact that Petrobras faced no immediate de facto competition. The threat of competition and privatization was sufficient to generate large productivity gains. These findings suggest that changing the competitive environment can be a powerful force for improving productivity at state-owned firms.

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File URL: http://www.fucape.br/_public/workingpapers/19-2009.pdf
File Function: Primeira Versão, 2009
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Paper provided by Fucape Business School in its series Fucape Working Papers with number 19.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Fucape Working Papers Dezembro 2009
Handle: RePEc:bbz:fcpwps:19
Contact details of provider: Postal: Fucape Business School Brazilian Business Review Av. Fernando Ferrari, 1358, Boa Vista CEP 29075-505 Vitória-ES
Phone: +55 27 4009-4408
Fax: +55 27 4009-4422
Web page: http://www.fucape.br

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  1. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 1997. "Monopoly rights: a barrier to riches," Staff Report 236, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Cole, Harold L. & Ohanian, Lee E. & Riascos, Alvaro & Schmitz, James Jr, 2005. "Latin America in the rearview mirror," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 69-107, January.
  3. Bresnahan, T.F & Reiss, P.C., 1989. "Entry And Competition In Concentrated Markets," Papers 151, Stanford - Studies in Industry Economics.
  4. Libecap, Gary D & Wiggins, Steven N, 1985. "The Influence of Private Contractual Failure on Regulation: The Case of Oil Field Unitization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 690-714, August.
  5. Roberto Ellery Jr & Mirta Bugarin & Victor Gomes & Arilton Teixeira, 2003. "Investment and Capital Accumulation in Brazil From 1970 To 2000: a Neoclassical View," Anais do XXXI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 31th Brazilian Economics Meeting] b20, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  6. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, January.
  7. José E. Galdón-Sánchez & James A. Schmitz Jr., 2002. "Competitive Pressure and Labor Productivity: World Iron-Ore Markets in the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1222-1235, September.
  8. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Garcia, Patricio & Knights, Peter F. & Tilton, John E., 2001. "Labor productivity and comparative advantage in mining:: the copper industry in Chile," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 97-105, June.
  10. 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.
  11. David McKenzie & Dilip Mookherjee, 2003. "The Distributive Impact of Privatization in Latin America: Evidence from Four Countries," JOURNAL OF LACEA ECONOMIA, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  12. James A. Schmitz Jr., 2005. "What Determines Productivity? Lessons from the Dramatic Recovery of the U.S. and Canadian Iron Ore Industries Following Their Early 1980s Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 582-625, June.
  13. Austan Goolsbee & Chad Syverson, 2008. "How do Incumbents Respond to the Threat of Entry? Evidence from the Major Airlines," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1611-1633, November.
  14. Mirta N.S. Bugarin & Roberto Ellery Jr & Victor Gomes & Arilton Teixeira, 2002. "The Brazilian Depression in the 1980s and 1990s," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 338, Society for Computational Economics.
  15. Mirta N. S. Bugarin & Roberto Ellery Jr. & Victor Gomes & Arilton Teixeira, 2005. "From Miracle to Disaster: the Brazilian Economy in the Last 3 Decades," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_009, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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