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Privatisation in Central and Eastern Europe


  • S. Estrin


It is argued that the impact of privatisation should be seen on company performance and productivity. The effects of "levelling the playing field" between the old state sector (whether or not now privatised) and new entrants to the industry will also be considered. Privatisation, in the sense of the emergence of a de novo private sector using the fixed assets of former state owned firms purchased after bankruptcy or liquidation, can lead to industry-level supply responses to demand changes even in the absence of supply responses from current and former state owned firms. In this paper, the issues which have emerged in the early years of transition in the privatisation of state owned firms, in the awareness that any deficiencies that we might isolate in firm level supply responses may be made good by the activities of the new entrepreneurs are outlined. There are two objectives: (i) to highlight the range and variety of innovative policy towards privatisation that has emerged in the region. We seek to categorise a country by policy and by policy outcome; and (ii) to focus on the relationship between ownership, governance and enterprise performance. The paper contains five further sections: (i) the standard literature comparing state and private ownership as governance mechanisms; (ii) the particular problems posed by privatisation in the transitional context are briefly summarised; (iii) methods of privatisation; (iv) the outcome of the privatisation processes, in terms of who has actually ended up owning firms, for several of the most prominent countries, including Russia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and (v) the impact of privatisation on enterprise performance.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Estrin, 1996. "Privatisation in Central and Eastern Europe," CERT Discussion Papers 9605, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hwe:certdp:9605

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Estrin, Saul & Perotin, Virginie, 1991. "Does ownership always matter?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 55-72, March.
    2. J Earle & S Estrin & L Leshchenko, 1996. "Ownership Structures," CEP Discussion Papers dp0315, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Pinto, Brian & Belka, Marek & Krajewski, Stefan, 1993. "Transforming state enterprises in Poland : macroeconomic evidence on adjustment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1101, The World Bank.
    4. Ellman,Michael, 2014. "Socialist Planning," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9781107074736.
    5. M Belka & S Estrin & M Schaffer & I.J. Singh, 1995. "Enterprise Adjustment in Poland: Evidence from a Survey of 200 Private," CEP Discussion Papers dp0233, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    Cited by:

    1. M. Radulescu, 1996. "Towards a Strategy for Increasing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Impact on the Romanian Economy," CERT Discussion Papers 9617, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
    2. Marc Duponcel, 1998. "Restructuring of food industries in the five Central and Eastern European front-runners towards EU membership (CEEC-5). A comparative review," CERT Discussion Papers 9806, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.

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