Privatization, Risk-Taking, and the Communist Firm
Dominique Demougin, Hans-Werner Sinn
NBER Working Paper No. 4205 (Also Reprint No. r1954)
This paper studies alternative methods of privatizing a formerly communist firm in the presence of imperfect risk markets. The methods include cash sales, a give-away scheme, and a participation contract where the government retains a sleeping fractional ownership in the firm. It is shown that, with competitive bidding, the participation contract dominates cash sales because it generates both more private restructuring investment and a higher expected present value of revenue for the government. Under weak conditions, the participation contract will induce more investment than the giveaway scheme, and it may even share the cash sales' virtue of incentive compatibility.
Published: Journal of Public Economics, Vol. 55, no.2 pp. 203-231, October 1994