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Mass Privatisation and Partial State Ownership of Firms in Transition Economics

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  • Bennett, John
  • Estrin, Saul
  • Maw, James

Abstract

In their privatization programs, transition governments have frequently given away shares (so-called `mass privatization'), while maintaining significant minority ownership. We explain the rationality of these policies for an expected net-revenue maximizing government. Our argument rests on a political feasibility constraint, preventing sale at a negative price. This constraint both raises prices that would otherwise be negative to zero, and has an indirect effect: mass privatization and partial retained state ownership may be chosen even if sale of a firm's entire assets would fetch a positive price. They are more likely to be chosen if the government has low bargaining power.

Suggested Citation

  • Bennett, John & Estrin, Saul & Maw, James, 2001. "Mass Privatisation and Partial State Ownership of Firms in Transition Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 2895, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2895
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John Bennett & Saul Estrin & James Maw & Giovanni Urga, 2004. "Privatisation Methods and Economic Growth in Transition Economies," Working Papers 2004.105, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Saul Estrin, 2002. "Competition and Corporate Governance in Transition," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 101-124, Winter.
    3. Bhaumik, Sumon Kumar & Estrin, Saul, 2007. "How transition paths differ: Enterprise performance in Russia and China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 374-392, March.
    4. Tian, Lihui & Estrin, Saul, 2005. "Retained State Shareholding in Chinese PLCs: Does Government Ownership Reduce Corporate Value?," IZA Discussion Papers 1493, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Sumon Bhaumik & Saul Estrin, 2003. "Why Transition Paths Differ: Russian and Chinese Enterprise Performance Compared," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 525, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    6. Saul Estrin, 2001. "Competition and Corporate Governance in Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 431, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. Bennett, John & Maw, James, 2003. "Privatization, partial state ownership, and competition," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 58-74, March.
    8. Maw, James, 2002. "Partial privatization in transition economies," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 271-282, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    privatisation; state ownership; transition economies;

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • P21 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Planning, Coordination, and Reform

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