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Privatization's impact on private productivity: the case of Brazilian iron ore

  • James A. Schmitz, Jr.
  • Arilton Teixeira

A major motivation for the wave of privatizations of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the last twenty years was a belief that privatization would increase economic efficiency. There are now many studies showing most privatizations achieved this goal. Our theme is that the productivity gains from privatization are much more general and widespread than has typically been recognized in this literature. In assessing the productivity gains from privatization, the literature has only examined the productivity gains accruing at the privatized SOEs. But privatization may have significant impact on the private producers that often exist side-by-side with SOEs. In this paper we show that this was indeed the case when Brazil privatized its SOEs in the iron ore industry. That is, after their privatization, the iron ore SOEs dramatically increased their labor productivity, but so did the private iron ore companies in the industry.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 337.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Publication status: Published in Review of Economic Dynamics
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:337
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  1. Davies, David G, 1971. "The Efficiency of Public versus Private Firms, The Case of Australia's Two Airlines," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 149-65, April.
  2. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-De-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2002. "Government Ownership of Banks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 265-301, 02.
  3. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-35, December.
  4. James A. Schmitz, Jr., 1997. "Government production of investment goods and aggregate labor productivity," Staff Report 240, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  5. Pedro Cavalcanti Ferreira & JosÈ Luiz Rossi, 2003. "New Evidence from Brazil on Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1383-1405, November.
  6. A. Tarik Timur & Allen Ponak, 2002. "Labor Relations and Technological Change at Canadian Pacific Railway ," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 23(4), pages 535-557, October.
  7. 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.
  8. Forsyth, P J & Hocking, R D, 1980. "Property Rights and Efficiency in a Regulated Environment: The Case of Australian Airlines," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 56(153), pages 182-85, June.
  9. Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-de-Silanes, 1997. "The Benefits of Privatization : Evidence from Mexico," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11583, The World Bank.
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