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Ownership Versus Environment: Why are Public Sector Firms Inefficient?

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  • Ann P. Bartel and Ann E. Harrison
  • Ann P. Bartel and Ann E. Harrison

Abstract

In this paper, we disentangle the sources of public sector inefficiency using 1981-1995 panel data on manufacturing firms in Indonesia. We consider two leading hypotheses: (1) public sector enterprises are inefficient due to agency-type problems or (2) public sector enterprises are inefficient because of the environment in which they operate, as measured by the soft budget constraint or barriers to competition. The two models are nested in a production function framework. The empirical results provide support for both models. Public sector enterprises shielded from import competition or with access to soft loans are significantly less efficient than their private sector counterparts. In addition, changes in ownership have large, independent effects on efficiency: in 1993, a full privatization is estimated to increase plant-level total factor productivity by 23 percentage points. Even without privatization, however, eliminating soft loans could raise total factor productivity by 8 to 9 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann P. Bartel and Ann E. Harrison & Ann P. Bartel and Ann E. Harrison, 1999. "Ownership Versus Environment: Why are Public Sector Firms Inefficient?," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 257, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1999-257
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Vahabi, Mehrdad, 2003. "La contrainte budgétaire lâche et la théorie économique
      [Soft Budget Constraint and Economic Theory]
      ," MPRA Paper 17651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Catarina Figueira & Joseph Nellis & David Parker, 2009. "The effects of ownership on bank efficiency in Latin America," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(18), pages 2353-2368.
    3. Ahmet Kara, 2009. "An applied stochastic model of the quality–quantity trade-off in the public health care sector," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 43(2), pages 277-289, March.
    4. J. Kornai & E. Maskin & G. Roland., 2004. "Understanding the Soft Budget Constraint," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 11.
    5. Martin F. Grace & Richard D. Phillips, 2007. "The Allocation of Governmental Regulatory Authority: Federalism and the Case of Insurance Regulation," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 74(1), pages 207-238.
    6. 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).
    7. Pradeep Kautish, 2010. "Study On Impact Of Environmental Change On Selected Public Sector Enterprises In India," Romanian Economic Business Review, Romanian-American University, vol. 5(2), pages 68-88, June.
    8. Francisco Gallego, 2002. "Competencia y Resultados Educativos: Teoría y Evidencia para Chile," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 39(118), pages 309-352.
    9. Kowalski, Tadeusz, 2013. "Globalization and Transformation in Central European Countries: The Case of Poland," MPRA Paper 59306, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. repec:kap:porgrv:v:18:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11115-016-0358-y is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Andreyeva Tatiana, 2003. "Company Performance in Ukraine: What Governs its Success," EERC Working Paper Series 03-01e, EERC Research Network, Russia and CIS.
    12. Schnytzer, Adi & Andreyeva, Tatiana, 2002. "Company performance in Ukraine: is this a market economy?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 83-98, June.
    13. José Manuel González-Páramo & Pablo Hernández Cos, 2005. "The Impact of Public Ownership and Competition on Productivity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(4), pages 495-517, November.
    14. repec:eee:rujoec:v:1:y:2015:i:1:p:30-54 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    privatization; public sector; Indonesia; soft budget constraint;

    JEL classification:

    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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