Methods of Privatization: Auctions, Bargaining, and Give-Aways

CEPR Discussion Paper Series No. 1541

Posted: 2 Apr 1997

See all articles by Klaus M. Schmidt

Klaus M. Schmidt

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Monika Schnitzer

University of Munich - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: January 1997

Abstract

The paper surveys recent results of auction theory, bargaining theory and political economy in order to compare different methods of privatization. We assume that a government is not only interested in maximizing revenues from privatization, but also in achieving an efficient allocation of ownership rights. We show that these two goals may conflict with each other. We argue that in a wide variety of circumstances the government should use an ascending open bid format, however, such as the traditional English auction. In particular, if there are more than two serious bidders, an English auction is more efficient and yields higher revenues than bargaining with a preselected buyer. Finally, if the government has to mass privatize, we show that giving away some fraction of all shares to the general population may be more efficient and yield higher revenues than a policy of selling all firms to the highest bidder.

JEL Classification: C78, D44, D72

Suggested Citation

Schmidt, Klaus M. and Schnitzer, Monika, Methods of Privatization: Auctions, Bargaining, and Give-Aways (January 1997). CEPR Discussion Paper Series No. 1541. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4790

Klaus M. Schmidt

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany
+49 89 2180 3405 (Phone)
+49 89 2180 3510 (Fax)

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.CESifo.de

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Monika Schnitzer (Contact Author)

University of Munich - Department of Economics ( email )

Ludwigstrasse 28
Munich, D-80539
Germany
+49 89 2180 2217 (Phone)
+49 89 2180 2767 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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