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Continuity Under a Different Name: The Outcome of Privatisation in Serbia

Vladan Ivanović, Vadim Kufenko (), Boris Begović, Nenad Stanisic () and Vincent Geloso

New Political Economy, 2019, vol. 24, issue 2, 159-180

Abstract: Normally, privatisation is seen as beneficial. This paper considers the case of Serbia – a latecomer in the matter – where privatisation was partly a result of exogenous pressures and where the process has been deemed a failure. In Serbia, a sizeable number of privatised firms were bought by bureaucrats and politicians and all firms were subjected to a period of supervision. We argue that the design of this process allowed rent-seekers to conserve their privileges through asset-stripping, which explains the failure. In order to do so, we perform an empirical analysis of the determinants of liquidation, merger and bankruptcy of privatised firms from 2002 to 2015. We construct a novel data set from primary sources, free of the ‘survivorship bias’ and containing proxies for various types of owners, indirect signs of asset-stripping strategy and a broad range of controls. Our results indicate that firms owned by politicians faced significantly higher risks of bankruptcy, especially after the end of supervision.

Date: 2019
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Working Paper: Continuity under a different name: The outcome of privatisation in Serbia (2016) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1080/13563467.2018.1426563

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