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Uwe Böwer
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) play an important role in Emerging Europe’s economies, notably in the energy and transport sectors. Based on a new firm-level dataset, this paper reviews the SOE landscape, assesses SOE performance across countries and vis-à-vis private firms, and evaluates recent SOE governance reform experience in 11 Emerging European countries, as well as Sweden as a benchmark. Profitability and efficiency of resource allocation of SOEs lag those of private firms in most sectors, with substantial cross-country variation. Poor SOE performance raises three main risks: large and risky contingent liabilities could stretch public finances; sizeable state ownership of banks coupled with poor governance could threaten financial stability; and negative productivity spillovers could affect the economy at large. SOE governance frameworks are partly weak and should be strengthened along three lines: fleshing out a consistent ownership policy; giving teeth to financial oversight; and making SOE boards more professional.
Mr. Tiago Cavalcanti, Daniel Da Mata, and Mr. Frederik G Toscani
This paper provides evidence of the causal impact of oil discoveries on development. Novel data on the drilling of 20,000 oil wells in Brazil allows us to exploit a quasi-experiment: Municipalities where oil was discovered constitute the treatment group, while municipalities with drilling but no discovery are the control group. The results show that oil discoveries significantly increase per capita GDP and urbanization. We find positive spillovers to non-oil sectors, specifically, an increase in services GDP which stems from higher output per worker. The results are consistent with greater local demand for non-tradable services driven by highly paid oil workers.