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Privatization in Colombia: a plant performance analysis


  • Carlos Pombo


  • Manuel Ramirez



This paper describes the real sector privatization program in Colombia during the nineties and puts that policy in the context of general market deregulation and promotion of private investment in the provision of public infrastructure and domiciliary public services strategy. The paper evaluates the privatization program in manufacturing and power sector as case studies. It follows the ex-post measuring and econometric analysis of a set of operative and restructuring performance indicators for the privatized firms. For manufacturing, the study sample consists of 30 large manufacturing firms where the Instituto de Fomento Industrial was the founding partner. The main findings suggest that those firms followed a pro-cyclical behavior relative to their private competitors and undertook tight plant operative restructuring. For the power sector the paper studies the impact of the Regulatory Reform on market entry, ownership structure, market competition, and productive efficiency. The measurement of productive efficiency follows a Data Envelope Analysis technique based on a sample of 33 plants that count for 85% of the installed capacity in thermal generation. The sample units are plants that were active before the reform and the entrant ones that started commercial operations after the reform. The results suggest that efficiency scores in thermal generation have improved after the reform and that regulatory policy had a positive effect on productive efficiency. ********************************************************************* El artículo describe el programa de privatización en el sector real de la economía Colombiana durante los años noventa y ubica esta política en un contexto de desregulación de mercados y promoción de la inversión privada en la oferta de infraestructura publica y servicios públicos domiciliarios. El articulo evalúa el programa de privatización en los sectores manufacturero y de generación de energía eléctrica. Se hacen mediciones ex - post y análisis econométrico del desempeño de las firmas privatizadas. En el sector manufacturero la muestra analizada esta compuesta por 30 firmas manufactureras de gran tamaño, donde el Instituto de Fomento Industrial era socio fundador. Los principales resultados sugieren que estas firmas mantuvieron un comportamiento pro - cíclico relativo a su principal competidor privado y desestimaron planes drásticos de reestructuración operativa. Para el grupo de firmas de generación de energía el articulo estudia el impacto de la reforma regulatoria en el proceso de entrada al mercado, estructura de propiedad, competencia de mercado y eficiencia productiva. La medición de eficiencia productiva usa la técnica de Data Envelope Análisis para 33 plantas que representan el 85% de la capacidad instalada en la generación térmica de energía eléctrica. La muestra esta compuesta por plantas que estaban en funcionamiento antes de la reforma y las entrantes que comenzaron su operación comercial después de la reforma. Los resultados sugieren que los niveles de evidencia en la generación térmica a mejorado después de la reforma y que la política regulatoria ha tenido un efecto positivo en la eficiencia productiva.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlos Pombo & Manuel Ramirez, 2002. "Privatization in Colombia: a plant performance analysis," Borradores de Investigación 003377, Universidad del Rosario.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000091:003377

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
    2. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
    3. Gutierrez, Luis H. & Berg, Sanford, 2000. "Telecommunications liberalization and regulatory governance: lessons from Latin America," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(10-11), pages 865-884, November.
    4. Dixon, R & Thirlwall, A P, 1975. "A Model of Regional Growth-Rate Differences on Kaldorian Lines," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 201-214, July.
    5. Mark Armstrong & Simon Cowan & John Vickers, 1994. "Regulatory Reform: Economic Analysis and British Experience," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262510790, March.
    6. Estache, Antonio & Rodriguez-Pardina, Martin, 1999. "Light and lightning at the end of the public tunnel : reform of the electricity sector in the Southern Cone," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2074, The World Bank.
    7. Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-de-Silanes, 1999. "The Benefits of Privatization: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1193-1242.
    8. 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.
    9. Julio Cesar Alonso & Israel Fainboim Yaker & Carlos Jorge Rodriguez & Juan Benavides, 2001. "Participación privada en proyectos de infraestructura y determinantes de los esquemas contractuales adoptados: El caso colombiano," Research Department Publications 3111, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    10. Carlos Pombo, 1999. "Productividad industrial en Colombia: Una aplicación de números índices," Revista de Economía del Rosario, Universidad del Rosario, June.
    11. David M. Newbery, 2002. "Privatization, Restructuring, and Regulation of Network Utilities," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640481, March.
    12. Gutierrez, Luis H., 2003. "Regulatory governance in the Latin American telecommunications sector," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 225-240, December.
    13. Pombo, Carlos, 2001. "Regulatory reform in Colombia's electric utilities," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 683-711.
    14. Carlos Pombo, 1999. "Economías de escala, Markups y determinantes del cambio técnico en la industria en Colombia," Coyuntura Económica, Fedesarrollo, December.
    15. Rodrigo Gutierrez & Pablo Serra & Ronald Fischer, 2003. "The Effects of Privatization on Firms and on Social Welfare: The Chilean Case," Research Department Publications 3150, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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    More about this item


    Privatization; Industrial Restructuring; Colombian Power Sector; Regulatory Reform;

    JEL classification:

    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L94 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Electric Utilities
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights


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