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Transition on the Shop Floor - The Restructuring of a Weaving Mill, Hungary 1988-97


  • Köll?, János

    () (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)


While a variety of studies analysed the benign effects of privatisation on firm performance under post-socialist transition using financial data very little is known about how the apparent productivity gains were achieved. This paper follows a weaving mill from 1998 to 1997 on its way of becoming a capitalist enterprise and gives a detailed account of the sources and limits of productivity growth. The data suggests that the factory was not far from the competitive optimum given the size of ‘plant and equipment’ - efficiency gains were mostly achieved by plant size reduction and asset stripping. The gains from this sort of initial restructuring helped many former state enterprises stay on the market but they did not necessarily indicate high levels of adaptability, capacity to innovate and ability to attract outside investors. In economies with many ‘seemingly restructured’ privatised enterprises the elimination of the former state sector jobs is likely to continue within the private sector. The process may last for years after privatisation as a legal act had been fully accomplished.

Suggested Citation

  • Köll?, János, 2003. "Transition on the Shop Floor - The Restructuring of a Weaving Mill, Hungary 1988-97," IZA Discussion Papers 972, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp972

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M Schaffer, 1996. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in a Transition Economy: Ownership," CEP Discussion Papers dp0282, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    6. John Haltiwanger & Milan Vodopivec, 2002. "Worker Flows, Job Flows and Firm Wage Policies: An Analysis of Slovenia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 486, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    7. J. Konings & H. Lehmann & M.E. Schaffer, 1996. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in a Transition Economy: Ownership, Firm Size," CERT Discussion Papers 9611, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
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    More about this item


    firm behaviour; firm objectives; compensation; transition; Hungary;

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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