Publication: The Privatization Dividend : A Worldwide Analysis of the Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms

Thumbnail Image
Files in English
English PDF (641.58 KB)

English Text (21.64 KB)
Megginson, William L.
Nash, Robert C.
van Randenborgh, Matthias
The study described in this Note compared the pre- and post-privatization performance of 61 companies in 18 countries and 32 industries. These companies were sold to the public through a share issue and thus their comparable pre- and post-issue financial and accounting data could be obtained from the firms' offering prospectuses and annual reports. The study tested for increased profitability, increased operating efficiency, increased capital investment spending, increased output, and privatization without lowering employment levels. It tested for these results both for the full sample and for several subsamples: privatizations of firms in competitive and non-competitive industries, full and partial privatization, privatization involving firms headquartered in OECD countries and in developing countries, and "control" and "revenue" privatizations. It showed significant increases among newly private firms in profitability, output per employee, capital spending, and employment. It also found that the financial policies of these firms start to resemble those typically associated with private entrepreneurial companies--with lower leverage and higher dividend payout ratios. Although the data did not allow precise documentation of the causes of these performance improvements after divestiture, the study was able to rule out price increases as a frequent source of profitability increases. It also showed that privatization has a positive effect on a firm's operating and financial performance while maintaining employment.
Megginson, William L.; Nash, Robert C.; van Randenborgh, Matthias. 1996. The Privatization Dividend : A Worldwide Analysis of the Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms. Viewpoint. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
Report Series
Report Series
Other publications in this report series
  • Publication
    Investment Climate in Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-07-01) Bridgman, David ; Adamali, Aref
    The World Bank Group has been working on investment climate reform in Sub-Saharan Africa for nearly a decade, a period characterized by dramatic economic growth on the continent. Establishing links between such reform interventions and economic growth, however, is a complex problem. Although this note finds some connection between investment climate reform and economic growth, establishing more concrete evidence of causation will require greater focus at the country level, as well as on small and medium enterprises. This is where investment climate interventions generate change.
  • Publication
    Export Competitiveness: Why Domestic Market Competition Matters
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2015-06) Goodwin, Tanja ; Pierola, Martha Denisse
    This review of the empirical literature shows that industries with more intense domestic competition will export more. Competition law enforcement can be traced to export performance and is complementary to trade reforms. Pro-competition market regulation that reduces restrictions and promotes competition, where it is viable, is an important determinant for trade. The elimination of barriers to entry and rivalry, and a level playing field in upstream sectors contributes to export competitiveness in downstream manufacturing sectors. In some sectors, effective competition policy can directly lower trade costs.
  • Publication
    Primary Care for the Poor: The Potential of Micro-Health Markets to Improve Care
    ( 2015-01) Coarasa, Jorge ; Das, Jishnu
    Much of the primary curative care provided to the poor by the private sector occurs not at large hospitals but at small, single-person clinics. While such micro-health providers increase access, questions persist about quality. Some have argued that the micro-health sector needs to be better regulated. This note cites recent studies in arguing that the micro-health sector needs to be better understood. A more evidence based approach may enable the World Bank Group to better target investments and interventions and help these providers fulfill an important role serving the poor. The following recommendations are made at the conclusion of this paper: (1) Effort, rather than hardware or training, may count the most. (2) Scaling up interventions to improve quality requires understanding and addressing market failures. (3) Changing the way impacts are measured will lead to smarter investments.
  • Publication
    Small Business Tax Regimes
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-02) Coolidge, Jacqueline ; Yilmaz, Fatih
    Simplified tax regimes for micro and small enterprises in developing countries are intended to facilitate voluntary tax compliance. However, survey evidence suggests that small business taxation based on simplified bookkeeping or turnover is sometimes perceived as too complex for microenterprises in countries with high illiteracy levels. Very simple fixed tax regimes not requiring any books or records tend to be overly popular but prone to abuse. System reforms will require more precise tailoring of the simplified regimes to their target beneficiaries, coupled with strong compliance management to detect and deter abuse. The overall objective of simplified taxation for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) in developing countries is generally to facilitate voluntary tax compliance and remove obstacles in moving toward business formalization and growth.
  • Publication
    Competition and Poverty
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2016-04) Begazo, Tania ; Nyman, Sara
    A literature review shows competition policy reforms can deliver benefits for the poorest households and improve income distribution. A lack of competition in food markets hurts the poorest households the most. Competition in input markets and between buyers helps farmers and small businesses. And more competitive markets bolster job growth over the longer term. More research is needed, however, to better understand the impact of competition reforms and antitrust enforcement on poverty and shared prosperity.
Journal Volume
Journal Issue