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Ownership and Firm Performance after Large-Scale Privatization

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  • Jan Svejnar
  • Evzen Kocenda

Abstract

We analyze the effect of ownership on post-privatization performance in a virtually complete population of medium and large firms privatized in a model large-scale privatization economy (Czech Republic). We find that concentrated foreign ownership improves economic performance, but domestic private ownership does not, relative to state ownership. Foreign firms engage in strategic restructuring by increasing profit and sales, while domestic firms reduce sales and labor cost without increasing profit. Ownership concentration is associated with superior performance, thus providing support to the agency theory and evidence against theories stressing the positive effects of managerial autonomy and initiative. Our results are also consistent with the thesis that the presence of a large domestic stockholder may not result in a superior performance if this shareholder ???loots??? the firm. We find support for a version of the hypothesis that firms restructure by first lowering and later increasing employment. The state as a holder of the golden share stimulates profitable restructuring while pursuing an employment objective, which is understandable in a period of rising unemployment. Our results hence portray the state as a more economically and socially beneficial agent than do some other recent studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Svejnar & Evzen Kocenda, 2003. "Ownership and Firm Performance after Large-Scale Privatization," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 471a, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2003-471a
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ownership; performance; privatization; panel data; industrial organization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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