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The Limits of Discipline

  • Frydman, Roman

    (Department of Economics, New York University)

  • Gary, Cheryl

    (The World Bank)

  • Hessel, Marek

    (School of Business, Fordham University)

  • Rapaczynski, Andrzej

    (School of Law, Columbia University)

Registered author(s):

    This paper, based on a large sample of mid-sized manufacturing firms in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland, examines differences in the behavior of state and private companies in short-term credit markets in transition economies. The study offers three main conclusions. First, we find that state enterprises represent a higher credit risk both because of their inferior economic performance and because of their lesser willingness or propensity to meet their payment obligations. Second, the brunt of the state firms' lower creditworthiness is borne by their state creditors, as state enterprises deflect the higher risk away from private creditors. Third, this transfer of risks from private to state creditors is possible because state creditors impose significantly "softer" financial discipline on state firms. Inasmuch as such softness may reflect unwillingness to accept a likely demise of a large number of state firms that are in principle capable of successful restructuring through ownership changes, we conclude that the imposition of financial discipline is not sufficient to remedy ownership and governance-related deficiencies of corporate performance.

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    File URL: http://www.ihs.ac.at/publications/tec/te-5.pdf
    File Function: First version, 1999
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    Paper provided by Institute for Advanced Studies in its series Transition Economics Series with number 5.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 1999
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ihs:ihstep:5
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    1. Barberis, Nicholas & Maxim Boycko & Andrei Shleifer & Natalia Tsukanova, 1996. "How Does Privatization Work? Evidence from the Russian Shops," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 764-90, August.
    2. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    3. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    4. Pohl, G. & Anderson, R.E. & Claessens, S. & Djankov, S., 1997. "Privatization and Restructuring in Central and Eastern Europe: Evidence and Policy Options," Papers 368, World Bank - Technical Papers.
    5. Greene, William H, 1981. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error: Comment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(3), pages 795-98, May.
    6. Schaffer, Mark E., 1998. "Do Firms in Transition Economies Have Soft Budget Constraints? A Reconsideration of Concepts and Evidence," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 80-103, March.
    7. Stijn Claessens & Simeon Djankov & Gerhard Pohl, 1997. "Determinants of Performance of Manufacturing Firms in Seven European Transition Economies," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 74, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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