Streamlining and Privatization Prices in the Telecommunications Industry

Feb 2003
This paper fills a void in the issue of determinants of privatization prices by concentrating in one industry across many countries. This has not been done before, as the literature has only focused on (i) many industries in one country, (ii) a single industry in one country, and (iii) many industries in many countries. We complement a recently released database with newly collected data, and we are able to cover 84 telecommunications privatizations, which account for nearly 80 percent of the sector in terms of value. Our findings are consistent with the little existing work on privatization prices, as our best policy prescription is primarily to concentrate on the transparency and cleanliness of the privatization process, as sale methods do matter. We show that government administration of labor downsizing may result in adverse selection, as the best workers are the first to leave when given the opportunity.