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Threatening to increase productivity

  • Bridgman, Benjamin
  • Gomes, Victor
  • Teixeira, Arilton

The wave of privatization in the 1980s and 1990s increased productivity of many previously state owned enterprises (SOEs). However, governments often do not have su±cient support to privatize SOEs. We provide evidence that threatening privatization and market competition (entry of new firms) can increase the productivity of SOEs, even though privatization and entry of new ¯rms does not occur. We study productivity at Brazil's state-owned oil company Petrobras. After it lost its legal monopoly Petrobras's total factor productivity increased sharply. These large gains occurred despite the fact that Petrobras faced no immediate de facto competition. The threat of competition and privatization was su±cient to generate large productivity gains. These findings suggest that changing the competitive environment can be a powerful force for improving productivity at state-owned firms.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 33024.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:33024
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  1. Edward C. Prescott & Stephen L. Parente, 1999. "Monopoly Rights: A Barrier to Riches," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1216-1233, December.
  2. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  3. James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2005. "What determines productivity? lessons from the dramatic recovery of the U.S. and Canadian iron-ore industries following their early 1980s crisis," Staff Report 286, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian & Alvaro Riascos & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2004. "Latin America in the Rearview Mirror," NBER Working Papers 11008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Garcia, Patricio & Knights, Peter F. & Tilton, John E., 2001. "Labor productivity and comparative advantage in mining:: the copper industry in Chile," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 97-105, June.
  6. Roberto Ellery Jr & Mirta Bugarin & Victor Gomes & Arilton Teixeira, 2003. "Investment and Capital Accumulation in Brazil From 1970 To 2000: a Neoclassical View," Anais do XXXI Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 31th Brazilian Economics Meeting] b20, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
  7. Austan Goolsbee & Chad Syverson, 2004. "How Do Incumbents Respond to the Threat of Entry? Evidence from the Major Airlines," Working Papers 04-04, NET Institute, revised Dec 2004.
  8. Libecap, Gary D & Wiggins, Steven N, 1985. "The Influence of Private Contractual Failure on Regulation: The Case of Oil Field Unitization," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 690-714, August.
  9. David McKenzie & Dilip Mookherjee, 2003. "The Distributive Impact of Privatization in Latin America: Evidence from Four Countries," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
  10. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Reiss, Peter C, 1991. "Entry and Competition in Concentrated Markets," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(5), pages 977-1009, October.
  11. Mirta N. S. Bugarin & Roberto Ellery Jr. & Victor Gomes & Arilton Teixeira, 2005. "From Miracle to Disaster: the Brazilian Economy in the Last 3 Decades," DEGIT Conference Papers c010_009, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  12. 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.
  13. Timothy Kehoe & Edward Prescott, 2002. "Data Appendix to Great Depressions of the Twentieth Century," Technical Appendices kehoe02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  14. Timothy J. Kehoe & Edward C. Prescott (), 2007. "Great depressions of the twentieth century," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, number 2007gdott.
  15. Mirta N.S. Bugarin & Roberto Ellery Jr & Victor Gomes & Arilton Teixeira, 2002. "The Brazilian Depression in the 1980s and 1990s," Computing in Economics and Finance 2002 338, Society for Computational Economics.
  16. José E. Galdón-Sánchez & James A. Schmitz Jr., 2002. "Competitive Pressure and Labor Productivity: World Iron-Ore Markets in the 1980's," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1222-1235, September.
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