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Perotti, E. (1995). Credible privatization American Economic Review, 85(4):847--859.

  • Journal
    American Economic Review

Privatization shifts residual income and control to private investors, restricting redistribution and improving incentives; thus rapid privatization should be desirable. Empirically, however, the transfer of ownership, as opposed to control, is very gradual. I offer an explanation based on investors' concern about future interference. A government averse to redistribution retains a passive stake in the firm; the willingness to bear residual risk signals commitment. When a large government stake conflicts with the transfer of control, underpricing may be necessary for separation. Finally, when the required discount is large, a committed government may prefer not to signal, gaining credibility over time.