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Full and Partial Privatization in China: The Labor Consequences

  • Kevin Amess
  • Jun Du
  • Sourafel Girma

This paper is the first paper to present findings evaluating the consequences for employees of full and partial privatization using difference-in-differences combined with propensity score matching. We find: (1) partial privatization causes job creation in contrast to full privatization, which destroys jobs, (2) full privatization causes higher labor productivity improvement than partial privatization, (3) wage increases occur only in partially privatized firms and (4) there are small increases in labor quality investment in both cases. The results suggest partial privatization exploits market discipline to induce labor productivity whilst simultaneously providing welfare improvements for labor. This is the ‘win-win’ outcome predicted by the ‘helping hand’ theory of government. Our results suggest that governments are likely to gain wider support for a program of partial privatization rather than full privatization.

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File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2009/09-11.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 09/11.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:09/11
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  1. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025, November.
  2. Jefferson, Gary H. & Su, Jian, 2006. "Privatization and restructuring in China: Evidence from shareholding ownership, 1995-2001," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 146-166, March.
  3. Josef C. Brada, 1996. "Privatization Is Transition--Or Is It?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 67-86, Spring.
  4. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  5. Yingyi Qian, 1996. "Enterprise reform in China: agency problems and political control," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(2), pages 427-447, October.
  6. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-19, March.
  7. Perotti, Enrico C, 1995. "Credible Privatization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 847-59, September.
  8. Nandini Gupta, 2005. "Partial Privatization and Firm Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 987-1015, 04.
  9. 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.
  10. V. Bhaskar & Bishnupriya Gupta & Mushtaq Khan, 2002. "Partial Privatization and Yardstick Competition: Evidence from Employment Dynamics in Bangladesh," Economics Discussion Papers 545, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  11. Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, 1998. "Insecure Property Rights And Government Ownership Of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 467-496, May.
  12. Taye Mengistae & Lixin Colin Xu, 2004. "Agency Theory and Executive Compensation: The Case of Chinese State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(3), pages 615-638, July.
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