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Privatization, market liberalization and learning in transition economies

  • Goodhue, Rachael E.
  • Rausser, Gordon C.
  • Simon, Leo K.

Privatization and market liberalization are widely considered to be complementary reforms in transition economies. This paper challenges this view and the closely related "big bang" approach to economic reform. Our analysis suggests that when pursued simultaneously, privatization may actually impede the transition process following market liberalization and reduce social welfare. Our result is based on an explicit model of market learning, which is a vital component of the economic transition process. Compared to a fully-functioning market in a mature market economy, a market in transition is characterized by greater uncertainty regarding market conditions, including free market equilibrium levels of prices and quantities. Market participants must learn about these conditions through their participation in the market process. When the effects of learning are incorporated into the analysis, the optimal level of privatization decreases monotonically as the level of uncertainty increases.

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Paper provided by Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley in its series Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series with number qt6vw536q0.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt6vw536q0
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  1. Dewatripont, Mathias & Roland, Gérard, 1993. "The Design of Reform Packages Under Uncertainty," CEPR Discussion Papers 860, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Peter Murrell, 1991. "Can Neoclassical Economics Underpin the Reform of Centrally Planned Economies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 59-76, Fall.
  3. Hare, Paul G & Hughes, Gordon & Michael, Thomas & Revesz, Tamas, 1992. "The Competitiveness of Hungarian Industry," CEPR Discussion Papers 736, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Mathias Dewatripont, 1992. "Economic Reform and Dynamic Political Constraints," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/175991, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Bray, Margaret M & Savin, Nathan E, 1986. "Rational Expectations Equilibria, Learning, and Model Specification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1129-60, September.
  6. Townsend, Robert M, 1978. "Market Anticipations, Rational Expectations, and Bayesian Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 19(2), pages 481-94, June.
  7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
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