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Privatization and Nationalization Cycles

  • Roberto Chang
  • Constantino Hevia
  • Norman Loayza

This paper studies the cycles of nationalization and privatization in resource-rich economies. We discuss available evidence on the drivers and consequences of privatization and nationalization, review the existing literature, and present illustrative case studies. Our main contribution is then to develop a static and dynamic model of the choice between private and national regimes for the ownership of natural resources. In the model, this choice is driven by a basic equality-efficiency tradeoff: national ownership results in more redistribution of income and more equality, but undermines incentives for effort. The resolution of the tradeoff depends on external and domestic conditions that affect the value of social welfare under each regime. This allows us to characterize how external variables -- such as the commodity price -- and domestic ones -- such as the tax system -- affect the choice of private vs. national regimes. The analysis therefore identifies the determinants of the observed cycles of privatization and nationalization, and is consistent with a variety of observed phenomena.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16126.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16126.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16126
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  3. Brainerd, Elizabeth, 2002. "Five Years after: The Impact of Mass Privatization on Wages in Russia, 1993-1998," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 160-190, March.
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  18. Bohn, Henning & Deacon, Robert, 1997. "Ownership Risk, Investment, and the Use of Natural Resources," Discussion Papers dp-97-20, Resources For the Future.
  19. Shafer, Michael, 1983. "Capturing the mineral multinationals: advantage or disadvantage?," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(01), pages 93-119, December.
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  21. Boubakri, Narjess & Cosset, Jean-Claude & Guedhami, Omrane, 2005. "Liberalization, corporate governance and the performance of privatized firms in developing countries," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 767-790, October.
  22. Facundo Albornoz & Sebastian Galiani & Daniel Heymann, 2012. "Foreign investment and expropriation under oligarchy and democracy," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(1), pages 24-46, 03.
  23. Florencio López-de-Silanes & Pablo Serra & Paul Gertler & Ernesto Schargrodsky & Francisco Anuatti & Sebastián Galiani & Alberto E. Chong & Carlos Pombo & Federico Sturzenegger & Máximo Torero & Carlo, 2005. "Privatization in Latin America: Myths and Reality," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 59618 edited by Florencio López-de-Silanes & Alberto E. Chong.
  24. Wolf, Christian, 2009. "Does ownership matter? The performance and efficiency of State Oil vs. Private Oil (1987-2006)," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 2642-2652, July.
  25. Mahdavi, Paasha, 2014. "Why do leaders nationalize the oil industry? The politics of resource expropriation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 228-243.
  26. Michael S Minor, 1994. "The Demise of Expropriation as an Instrument of LDC Policy 1980-1992," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 25(1), pages 177-188, March.
  27. Noguera, José, 2013. "Oil prices: Breaks and trends," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 60-67.
  28. Nemat Shafik, 1996. "Selling Privatization Politically," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(3), pages 367-378.
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