Publications of Telegdy, A.

Corporate control in Hungary

In this paper we describe the Hungarian legal framework regulating disclosure of information about listed firms at the Budapest Stock Exchange (BSE), and we analyze the concentration and types of blockholders at these firms for the years 1996-2000. Disclosure rules on the BSE became EU-compatible only very recently, and so far indirect holdings were not reported. The concentration of direct ownership is nonetheless rather high, the largest owner having 46.2 percent on average in May 2000. While this figure is similar to the corresponding levels in continental Europe, it is more unusual that the second and third largest blockholders also have large shares (on average 20.2 and 10.4 at the same date). Concentration was quite stable during 1996-1999, while it decreased somewhat in 2000. The most prevalent type of owner is foreign investor, which had over 50 percent of all blockholdings in 2000, although domestic private blockholders and the state are also present in a significant number of firms.

Ownership and wages: estimating public-private and foreign-domestic differentials using LEED from Hungary, 1986-2003

Studies of public-private and foreign-domestic wage differentials face difficulties distinguishing ownership effects from correlated characteristics of workers and firms. This paper estimates these ownership differentials using linked employer-employee data (LEED) from Hungary containing 1.35mln worker-year observations for 21,238 firms from 1986 to 2003. We find that ownership type is highly correlated with characteristics of both workers (education, experience, gender, and occupation) and firms (size, industry, and productivity), suggesting ownership type is systematically selected along these dimensions. The large unconditional wage gaps (0.24 for public-private and 0.40 for foreign-domestic) in the data are little affected by conditioning on worker characteristics, but controlling for industry reduces the public and foreign premia (to 0.16 and 0.34, respectively), and controlling for employment size further reduces them (to 0.07 and 0.28). We also exploit the presence of 3,700 switches of ownership type in the data to estimate firm fixed-effects and random trend models, accounting for unobserved firm characteristics affecting the average level and trend growth of wages. These controls have little effect on the conditional public-private gap, but they reduce the estimated foreign premium (to 0.07). The results imply that the substantial unconditional wage differentials are mostly, but not entirely, a function of differences in worker and firm characteristics, and that linked panel data are necessary to take these correlated factors into account.

Ownership and wages: estimating public-private and foreign-domestic differentials using LEED from Hungary, 1986-2003

Studies of public-private and foreign-domestic wage differentials face difficulties distinguishing ownership effects from correlated characteristics of workers and firms. This paper estimates these ownership differentials using linked employer-employee data (LEED) from Hungary containing 1.35mln worker-year observations for 21,238 firms from 1986 to 2003. We find that ownership type is highly correlated with characteristics of both workers (education, experience, gender, and occupation) and firms (size, industry, and productivity), suggesting ownership type is systematically selected along these dimensions. The large unconditional wage gaps (0.24 for public-private and 0.40 for foreign-domestic) in the data are little affected by conditioning on worker characteristics, but controlling for industry reduces the public and foreign premia (to 0.16 and 0.34, respectively), and controlling for employment size further reduces them (to 0.07 and 0.28). We also exploit the presence of 3,700 switches of ownership type in the data to estimate firm fixed-effects and random trend models, accounting for unobserved firm characteristics affecting the average level and trend growth of wages. These controls have little effect on the conditional public-private gap, but they reduce the estimated foreign premium (to 0.07). The results imply that the substantial unconditional wage differentials are mostly, but not entirely, a function of differences in worker and firm characteristics, and that linked panel data are necessary to take these correlated factors into account.

The productivity effects of privatization: Longitudinal estimates from Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine

This paper estimates the effect of privatization on multifactor productivity using comprehensive panel data on initially state-owned manufacturing firms in four economies. We exploit the data's longitudinal dimension to control for preprivatization selection and estimate long-run impacts. The estimates are robust to functional form but sensitive to selection controls. Our preferred random growth estimates imply positive multifactor productivity effects of 15 percent in Romania, 8 percent in Hungary, and 2 percent in Ukraine, but a -3 percent effect in Russia. The foreign privatization effect is larger (18-35 percent) in all countries. Positive domestic effects appear immediately in Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine and continue growing thereafter, but emerge only five years after privatization in Russia.

Nonstandard forms and measures of employment and unemployment in transition: a comparative study of Estonia, Romania, and Russia

This paper looks behind the standard, publicly available labor force statistics relied upon in most studies of transition economy labor markets. We analyze microdata on detailed labor force survey responses in Russia, Romania, and Estonia to measure nonstandard, boundary forms and alternative definitions of employment and unemployment. Our calculations show that measured rates are quite sensitive to definition, particularly in the treatment of household production (subsistence agriculture), unpaid family helpers, and discouraged workers, while the categories of part-time work and other forms of marginal attachment are still relatively unimportant. We find that tweaking the official definitions in apparently minor ways can produce alternative employment rates that are sharply higher in Russia but much lower in Romania and slightly lower in Estonia, and alternative unemployment rates that are sharply higher in Romania and moderately higher in Estonia and Russia.

Ownership concentration and corporate performance on the Budapest Stock Exchange: Do too many cooks spoil the goulash?

We examine the impact of ownership concentration on firm performance using panel data for firms listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange, where ownership tends to be highly concentrated and frequently involves multiple blocks. Fixed-effects estimates imply that the size of the largest block increases profitability and efficiency strongly and monotonically, but the effects of total blockholdings are much smaller and statistically insignificant. Controlling for the size of the largest block, point estimates of the marginal effects of additional blocks are negative. The results suggest that the marginal costs of concentration may outweigh the benefits when the increased concentration involves "too many cooks".

Does privatization hurt workers? Lessons from comprehensive manufacturing firm panel data in Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine

We estimate the effects of privatization on firm-level wages and employment in four transition economies. Applied to longitudinal data on manufacturing firms, our fixed effect and random trend models consistently fail to support workers' fears of job losses from privatization, and they never imply large negative effects on wages; only for domestic privatization in Hungary and Russia are small (3-5%) negative wage effects found. Privatization to foreign investors has positive estimated impacts on both employment and wages in all four countries. The negligible consequences of domestic privatization for workers result from effects on scale, productivity, and costs that are large but offsetting in Hungary and Romania, and from small effects of all types in Russia and Ukraine. The positive employment outcome under foreign ownership results from a substantial scale-expansion effect that dominates the productivity-improvement effect, and the positive wage outcome from a productivity effect that dominates the effect on cost reduction.

The productivity effects of privatization: longitudinal estimates from Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine

This paper estimates the effect of privatization on multifactor productivity (MFP) using long panel data for nearly the universe of initially state-owned manufacturing firms in four economies. We exploit the key longitudinal feature of our data to measure and control for pre-privatization selection bias and to estimate long-run impacts. We find that the magnitudes of our estimates are robust to alternative functional forms, but sensitive to how we control for selection. Our preferred random growth models imply that majority privatization raises MFP about 15% in Romania, 8% in Hungary, and 2% in Ukraine, while in Russia it lowers it 3%. Privatization to foreign rather than domestic investors has a larger impact, 18-35%, in all countries. Positive domestic effects appear within a year in Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine and continue growing thereafter, but take 5 years after privatization to emerge in Russia.

Does privatization raise productivity? Evidence from comprehensive panel data on manufacturing firms in Hungary, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine

We analyze the impact of privatization on multifactor productivity (MFP) using long panel data for nearly the universe of initially state-owned manufacturing firms in four economies. Controlling for firm and industry-year fixed effects and employing a wide variety of measurement approaches, we estimate that majority privatization raises MFP about 28 percent in Romania, 22 percent in Hungary, and 3 percent in Ukraine, with some variation across specifications, while in Russia it lowers it about 4 percent. Privatization to foreign rather than domestic investors has a larger impact (about 44 percent) and is much more consistent across countries. The positive effects emerge within a year in Hungary, Romania, and Ukraine and continue to grow thereafter, but are still ambiguous even after 5 years in Russia. Pre-privatization MFP exceeds that of firms remaining state-owned in all countries, implying that cross-sectional estimates overstate privatization effects. The patterns of the estimated effects cast doubt on a number of explanations for "when privatization works."

Ownership concentration and corporate performance on the Budapest Stock Exchange: do too many cooks spoil the goulash?

We examine the impact of ownership concentration on firm performance using panel data for firms listed on the Budapest Stock Exchange, where ownership tends to be highly concentrated and frequently involves multiple blocks. Fixed-effects estimates imply that the l largest block increases return on assets and operating efficiency strongly and monotonically, but the effects of total blockholdings are much smaller and statistically insignificant. Controlling for the size of the largest block, point estimates of the marginal effects of additional blocks are negative. The results suggest that the marginal costs of concentration may outweigh the benefits when the increased concentration involves "too many cooks."

Privatization methods and productivity effects in Romanian industrial enterprises

Comprehensive panel data on privatization transactions and labor productivity in Romanian industrial corporations are used to describe the postprivatization ownership structure and to estimate the effect of Romania's diverse privatization policies on firm performance. The econometric results show consistently positive, highly significant effects of private ownership on labor productivity growth; the point estimates imply an increased 1.0 to 1.7% growth for a 10% rise in private shareholding. The strongest estimated impacts are associated with sales to outside blockholders; insider transfers and mass privatization are estimated to have significantly smaller, although still positive, effects on firm performance.

Corporate control – A study of firms on the Bucharest Stock Exchange

This article analyzes the ownership structure of firms listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) over the period 1998-2000. The history of the BSE is briefly described, showing its similarity to other post-socialist countries in terms of small size and low, liquidity of the market, and contrasting it with countries that have developed market economies. Measures of ownership concentration reveal that the BSE's concentrated ownership structure fits the pattern of continental Europe., with 70 percent of shares held by 5 percent or greater blockholders at the end of 2000. However, the major types of owners are very different from those found in industrialized countries. The Romanian government, through the State Ownership Fund, held blocks in 88 of 116 listed firms in 1998, which fell to 33 of 115 at the end of 2000, in both cases with a median share of over 50 percent. The nature of the Romanian privatization process also influenced the prevalence of other types of owners, with insiders holding blocks in 34 firms, with a 41 percent median, by the end of 2000. Foreigners held stakes in 75 firms, with a 17 percent median, while the remaining blocks were mostly in the hands of domestic firms.

Privatization methods and productivity effects in Romanian industrial enterprises

Comprehensive panel data on privatization transactions and labor productivity in Romanian industrial corporations are used to describe the post-privatization ownership structure, and to estimate the effect of Romania's diverse privatization policies on firm performance. The econometric results show consistently positive, highly significant effects of private ownership on labor productivity growth, the point estimates implying an increased 1.0 to 1.7 percentage growth for a 10 percent rise in private shareholding. The strongest estimated impacts are associated with sales to outside blockholders; insider transfers and mass privatization are estimated to have significantly smaller-although still positive-effects on firm performance.