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Everyone Hates Privatization, but Why? Survey Evidence from 28 Post-Communist Countries

  • Irina Denisova


    (CEFIR at the New Economic School)

  • Markus Eller


    (Oesterreichische Nationalbank)

  • Timothy Frye


    (Columbia University and the Harriman Institute)

  • Ekaterina Zhuravskaya


    (New Economic School, Paris School of Economics, and EHESS)

A 2006 survey of 28,000 individuals in 28 post-communist countries reveals overwhelming support for revising privatization, but also that most respondents prefer to leave firms in private hands. We test whether individuals support revising privatization primarily due to a preference for state property or due to concerns about the legitimacy of privatization. We find that a lack of human capital and privately owned assets affects the support for revising privatization primarily via a preference for state property over private property; whereas transition-related hardships influence support for revising privatization via both a preference for state property and concerns about the illegitimacy of privatization. These results suggest the value of analyses that not only link respondent traits with support for policy, but that also probe the motivations that underpin this support.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0143.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0143
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  1. Sonin, Konstantin, 2003. "Why the rich may favor poor protection of property rights," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 715-731, December.
  2. 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.
  3. Hoff, Karla & Stiglitz, Joseph E., 2002. "After the Big Bang? Obstacles to the emergence of the rule of law in post-communist societies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2934, The World Bank.
  4. Rafael Di Tella & Sebastian Galiani & Ernesto Schargrodsky, 2008. "Reality versus Propaganda in the Formation of Beliefs about Privatization," NBER Working Papers 14483, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 1998. "Winners and Losers in Russia's Economic Transition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1094-1116, December.
  6. Estrin, Saul & Hanousek, Jan & Kocenda, Evzen & Svejnar, Jan, 2009. "Effects of privatization and ownership in transition economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4811, The World Bank.
  7. Alesina, Alberto F & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 565, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Branko Milanovic, 1999. "Explaining the increase in inequality during transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 299-341, July.
  9. Angus Deaton, 2003. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," NBER Working Papers 9822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Denisova, Irina & Eller, Markus & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2009. "What do Russians think about transition?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Hoff, Karla, 2008. "Joseph E. Stiglitz," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4478, The World Bank.
  12. Sergei Guriev & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2009. "(Un)happiness in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 143-68, Spring.
  13. Dewatripont, Mathias & Roland, Gérard, 1991. "The Virtues of Gradualism and Legitimacy in the Transition to a Market Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Rodrik Dani, 1995. "The Dynamics of Political Suppport for Reform in Economies in Transition," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 403-425, December.
  15. Denisova, Irina & Eller, Markus & Frye, Timothy & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2009. "Who Wants To Revise Privatization? The Complementarity of Market Skills and Institutions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7260, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Ugo Panizza & Mónica Yañez, 2005. "Why are Latin Americans so unhappy about reforms?," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 0, pages 1-29, May.
  17. Angus Deaton, 2005. "ERRATUM: Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 395-395, May.
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