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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

We replicate, update, and extend earlier work on manufacturing enterprise privatization and productivity in Russia. Our results suggest a more nuanced view of privatization than that previously offered. We confirm findings that the average impact on productivity of privatization to domestic owners is around –3 to –5 percent, though some regions show positive productivity gains of similar magnitude to those in Central Europe. The regional variation is positively associated with the size of the regional bureaucracy. Notwithstanding the average negative effect, our updated results show a pronounced change after 2002 as the productivity effects of Russian privatization have begun to approach those seen elsewhere much earlier. Privatization became most effective west of the Urals, in areas with greater market access. Initially an outlier, by 2005 Russia appeared to be becoming more of a normal country, at least in the narrow sense of the impact of private ownership on firm productivity.

Keywords: privatization, productivity, economic geography, state bureaucracy

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