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Who Wants to Revise Privatization and Why? Evidence from 28 Post-Communist Countries

  • Irina Denisova


  • Markus Eller


  • Timothy Frye

    (Columbia University and the Harriman Institute)

  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya


    (New Economic School/CEFIR and CEPR)

A 2006 survey of 28,000 individuals in 28 post-communist countries reveals overwhelming public support for the revision of privatization in the region. A majority of respondents, however, favors a revision of privatization that ultimately leaves firms in private hands. We identify which factors influence individuals’ support for revising privatization and explore whether respondents’ views are driven by a preference for state property or a concern for the fairness of privatization. We find that human capital poorly suited for a market economy with private ownership and a lack of privately owned assets increase support for revising privatization with the primary reason being a preference for state over private property. Economic hardships during transition and work in the state sector also increase support for revising privatization, but mainly due to the perceived unfairness of privatization. The effects of human capital and asset ownership on support for revising privatization are independent of a countries’ institutional environment. In contrast, good governance institutions amplify the impact of positive and negative transition experiences on attitudes toward revising privatization. In countries with low inequality,individuals with positive and negative transition experiences hold significantly different views about the superiority of private property, but this difference is much smaller in countries with high inequality.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0105.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0105
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