Does a change in the ownership of firms, from public to private, make a difference?
The economic impact of privatisation is hard to assess. This paper extends the analysis of Florio (2004) in four directions. It argues that a welfare assessment of privatisation must include an evaluation of the performance of public enterprises in light of their originally broad set of objectives including, for example, the promotion of employment. It highlights the importance of financial pressure, independently of privatisation, in improving the performance of public firms. It goes on to discuss the potential role of supranational institutions in bringing about this pressure, and identifies the relevance of the 1976 IMF intervention in the UK. International empirical evidence is then presented in support of Florio's argument that privatisation was not decisive in improving labour productivity. Finally, the paper argues that institutional differences across countries make cross-country analyses of privatisation problematic.
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- Bertero, Elisabetta & Rondi, Laura, 2000. "Financial pressure and the behaviour of public enterprises under soft and hard budget constraints: evidence from Italian panel data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 73-98, January.
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- Treisman, Daniel, 2000. "The causes of corruption: a cross-national study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 399-457, June.
- 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.
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- Bertero, Elisabetta & Rondi, Laura, 2002. "Hardening a Soft Budget Constraint Through 'Upward Devolution' to a Supranational Institution: The Case of Italian State-Owned Firms and the European Union," WIDER Working Paper Series 016, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
- Lawson, Colin, 1994. " The Theory of State-Owned Enterprises in Market Economies," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 283-309, September.
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- N Dryden & Stephen Nickell & D Nicolitsas, 1996. "What Makes Firms Perform Well?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0308, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Padoa Schioppa, Fiorella Kostoris, 1998. "Economic Policy and Reforms in Contemporary Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1874, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
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