Privatization in Colombia: A Plant Performance Analysis
This paper describes the privatization program carried out in the productive sector of the Colombian economy during the 1990s. It evaluates privatization within the policy context of general market deregulation and the promotion of private investment in the provision of public infrastructure and domiciliary public services. Two case studies are explored: the manufacturing and power sectors. The paper 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 of which the Instituto de Fomento Industrial was the founding or supporting partner. The main findings suggest that those firms followed pro-cyclical behavior relative to their private competitors and undertook tight plant operative restructuring. For the power sector, the paper studies the impact of regulatory reform on market entry, ownership structure, market competition, and productive efficiency of the privatized holdings. The results suggest that privatization and entry competition in power generation have had a positive effect on the privatized utilities’ efficiency and investment. With respect to thermal generation, the measurement of productive efficiency follows a data envelope analysis technique based on a sample of 33 plants that account for 85% of the installed capacity. The sample units are plants that were active before the reform and new entrants that started business operations after the reform. The main outcome shows that efficiency scores have improved after the reform and that regulatory policy has had a positive effect on productive efficiency.
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