Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/224663
Authors: 
Hennicke, Moritz
Lubczyk, Moritz
Mergele, Lukas
Year of Publication: 
2020
Series/Report no.: 
ZEW Discussion Papers 20-043
Abstract: 
The end of communism in the 1990s probably is the most fundamental restructuring of institutions witnessed in recent history. At its core was the large-scale redistribution of previously state-owned companies. We construct a unique firm-level dataset to study this redistribution in East Germany where the entire state-owned economy was either privatized or liquidated within less than five years. We examine whether the privatization authority followed its mandate to privatize competitive firms using initial labor productivity to indicate firms' competitiveness. Our results highlight that firms with higher baseline productivity are more likely to be privatized, yield higher sales prices, are more often acquired by West German investors, and are more likely to remain in business even 20 years after leaving public ownership. The privatization agency plausibly contributed to these outcomes by rating and prioritizing productive firms.
Subjects: 
privatization
labor productivity
German reunification
JEL: 
D24
G38
H11
L33
P31
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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