July 2001

IZA DP No. 326: Privatization and Productivity in Romanian Industry: Evidence from a Comprehensive Enterprise Panel

published in: Journal of Comparative Economics, 2002, 30 (4), 657-682

We construct and analyze a unique database with 1992-99 information on privatization transactions and labor productivity for the entire surviving population of initially state-owned industrial corporations in Romania. The data permit us to describe the post-privatization ownership structure and to test the effect of alternative privatization policies on firm performance in a panel framework. The results of OLS, LAD, and fixed-effects estimations consistently show a positive, highly significant effect of private ownership share on the level and growth of labor productivity, the estimates ranging from 13 to 32 log points for the level, and 9 to 16 for productivity growth. The strongest estimated impacts arise from sales to foreign and domestic blockholders, but insider and mass privatization are also estimated to have positive, although smaller, impacts on firm performance.