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State-owned enterprise

"Crown corporation" redirects here. For Crown corporations in Canada, its provinces and its territories, see Crown corporations of Canada.
"Public sector undertaking" redirects here. For the Indian equivalent, see Public sector undertakings in India.
This article is about enterprises owned by the state or a state entity. For publicly-traded companies, see Public company.
This article needs attention from an expert in economics, finance & investment, business or law. The specific problem is: Subscription probably needed to access much of the research, and familiarity with the technical diction common in reliable sources would be a major asset. See the talk page for details. WikiProject Economics, WikiProject Finance & investment, WikiProject Business or WikiProject Law may be able to help recruit an expert.(July 2018)

A state-owned enterprise (SOE) or government-owned enterprise (GOE) is a business enterprise where the government or state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership. Defining characteristics of SOEs are their distinct legal form and operation in commercial affairs and activities. While they may also have public policy objectives (e.g., a state railway company may aim to make transportation more accessible), SOEs should be differentiated from government agencies or state entities established to pursue purely nonfinancial objectives.

Contents

The terminology around the term state-owned enterprise is murky. All three words in the term are challenged and subject to interpretation. First, it is debatable what the term "state" implies (e.g., it is unclear whether municipally owned corporations and enterprises held by regional public bodies are considered state-owned). Next, it is contestable under what circumstances a SOE qualifies as "owned" by a state (SOEs can be fully owned or partially owned; it is difficult to determine categorically what level of state ownership would qualify an entity to be considered as state-owned since governments can also own regular stock, without implying any special interference). Finally, the term "enterprise" is challenged, as it implies statutes in private law which may not always be present, and so the term "corporations" is frequently used instead.

Thus, SOEs are known under many other terms: state-owned company, state-owned entity, state enterprise, publicly owned corporation, government business enterprise, government-owned company, government-owned corporation, government-sponsored enterprise, commercial government agency, state-privatised industry public sector undertaking, or parastatal, among others. In the Commonwealth realms, particularly in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, country-wide SOEs often use the term "Crown corporation", or "Crown entity", as cabinet ministers (Ministers of the Crown) often control the shares in them.

The term "government-linked company" (GLC) is sometimes used to refer to corporate entities that may be private or public (listed on a stock exchange) where an existing government owns a stake using a holding company. The two main definitions of GLCs are dependent on the proportion of the corporate entity a government owns. One definition purports that a company is classified as a GLC if a government owns an effective controlling interest (more than 50%), while the second definition suggests that any corporate entity that has a government as a shareholder is a GLC.

The act of turning a part of government bureaucracy into a SOE is called corporatization.

Economic reasons

Natural monopolies

SOEs are common with natural monopolies, because they allow capturing economies of scale while they can simultaneously achieve a public objective. For that reason, SOEs primarily operate in the domain of infrastructure (e.g. railway companies), strategic goods and services (e.g. postal services, arms manufacturing and procurement), natural resources and energy (e.g. nuclear facilities, alternative energy delivery), politically sensitive business, broadcasting, banking, demerit goods (e.g. alcoholic beverages), and merit goods (healthcare).

Infant industries

SOEs can also help foster industries that are "considered economically desirable and that would otherwise not be developed through private investments". When nascent or 'infant' industries have difficulty getting investments from the private sector (perhaps because the good that is being produced requires very risky investments, when patenting is difficult, or when spillover effects exist), the government can help these industries get on the market with positive economic effects. However, the government cannot necessarily predict which industries would qualify as such 'infant industries', and so the extent to which this is a viable argument for SOEs is debated.

Political reasons

SOEs are also frequently employed in areas where the government wants to levy user fees, but finds it politically difficult to introduce new taxation. Next, SOEs can be used to improve efficiency of public service delivery or as a step towards (partial) privatization or hybridization. SOEs can also be a means to alleviate fiscal stress, as SOEs may not count towards states' budgets.

Compared to government bureaucracy

Compared to government bureaucracy, state owned enterprises might be beneficial because they reduce politicians' influence over the service. Conversely, they might be detrimental because they reduce oversight and increase transaction costs (such as monitoring costs, i.e., it is more difficult and costly to govern and regulate an autonomous SOE than it is the public bureaucracy). Evidence suggests that existing SOEs are typically more efficient than government bureaucracy, but that this benefit diminishes as services get more technical and have less overt public objectives.

Compared to regular enterprises

Compared to a regular enterprise, state-owned enterprises are typically expected to be less efficient due to political interference, but unlike profit-driven enterprises they are more likely to focus on public objectives.

In Eastern Europe and Western Europe, there was a massive nationalization throughout the 20th century, especially after World War II. In Eastern Europe, governments dominated by Communists adopted the Soviet model. Governments in Western Europe, both left and right of centre, saw state intervention as necessary to rebuild economies shattered by war. Government control over so-called natural monopolies like industry was the norm. Typical sectors included telephones, electric power, fossil fuels, railways, airlines, media, postal services, banks, and water. Many large industrial corporations were also nationalized or created as government corporations, including, among many others: British Steel Corporation, Statoil and Irish Sugar.

A state-run enterprise may operate differently from an ordinary limited liability corporation. For example, in Finland, state-run enterprises (liikelaitos) are governed by a separate act. Even though responsible for their own finances, they cannot be declared bankrupt; the state answers for the liabilities. Stocks of the corporation are not sold and loans have to be government-approved, as they are government liabilities.

In most OPEC countries, the governments own the oil companies operating on their soil. A notable example is the Saudi Arabian national oil company, Saudi Aramco, which the Saudi government bought in 1988, changing its name from Arabian American Oil Company to Saudi Arabian Oil Company. The Saudi government also owns and operates Saudi Arabian Airlines, and owns 70% of SABIC as well as many other companies.[citation needed]

In the EU directives were issued, and signed into law in member countries, that railway should be split into branches. So where everything from infrastructure to running the trains had been in one company (often owned by the local state or other authorities), now the various activities were to be separated into independent companies. A major motivation was to more easily enable free access to run trains in the various countries, and thereby increase competition and offer lower fees.

In economic theory, the question of whether a firm should be owned by the state or by the private sector is studied in the theory of incomplete contracts that was developed by Oliver Hart and his co-authors. In a world in which complete contracts were feasible, ownership would not matter because the same incentive structure that prevails under one ownership structure could be replicated under the other ownership structure. Hart, Shleifer, and Vishny (1997) have developed the leading application of the incomplete contract theory to the issue of state-owned enterprises. These authors compare a situation in which the government is in control of a firm to a situation in which a private manager is in control. The manager can invest to come up with cost-reducing and quality-enhancing innovations. The government and the manager bargain over the implementation of the innovations. If the negotiations fail, the owner can decide about the implementation. It turns out that when cost-reducing innovations do not harm quality significantly, then private firms are to be preferred. Yet, when cost-reductions may strongly reduce quality, state-owned enterprises are superior. Hoppe and Schmitz (2010) have extended this theory in order to allow for a richer set of governance structures, including different forms of public-private partnerships.

Citations

  1. "State-Owned Enterprises Catalysts for public value creation?"(PDF). PwC. Retrieved16 January 2018.
  2. Profiles of Existing Government Corporations, pp. 1–16
  3. António F. Tavares and Pedro J. Camões (2007) (2007). "Local service delivery choices in Portugal: A political transaction costs network". Local Government Studies. 33 (4): 535–553. doi:10.1080/03003930701417544. S2CID 154709321.
  4. Voorn, Bart, Marieke L. Van Genugten, and Sandra Van Thiel (2017) (2017). "The efficiency and effectiveness of municipally owned corporations: A systematic review". Local Government Studies. 43 (5): 820–841. doi:10.1080/03003930.2017.1319360. hdl:2066/176125.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. Grossi, Giuseppe, and Reichard, C. (2008) (2008). "Municipal corporatization in Germany and Italy". Public Management Review. 10 (5): 597–617. doi:10.1080/14719030802264275. S2CID 153354582.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. Ferry, Laurence, Rhys Andrews, Chris Skelcher, and Piotr Wegorowski (2018) (2018). "New development: Corporatization of local authorities in England in the wake of austerity 2010–2016"(PDF). Public Money & Management. 38 (6): 477–480. doi:10.1080/09540962.2018.1486629. S2CID 158266874.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. Voorn, Bart, Sandra Van Thiel, and Marieke van Genugten (2018) (2018). "Debate: Corporatization as more than a recent crisis-driven development". Public Money & Management. 38 (7): 481–482. doi:10.1080/09540962.2018.1527533. S2CID 158097385.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. Kowalski, P., Büge, M., Sztajerowska, M. and Egeland, M. (2013). "State-Owned Enterprises: Trade Effects and Policy Implications"(PDF). OECD Trade Policy Papers (147).CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  9. Baldwin, R. E. (1969). "The case against infant-industry tariff protection"(PDF). Journal of political economy. pp. 295–305.
  10. Shleifer, Andrei, and Robert W. Vishny (1994) (1994). "Politicians and firms". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 109 (4): 995–1025. doi:10.2307/2118354. JSTOR 2118354.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  11. Shleifer, Andrei, and Robert W. Vishny (1997) (1994). "A survey of corporate governance". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 109 (4): 995–1025. doi:10.2307/2118354. JSTOR 2118354.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  12. "All Men Are Created Unequal". The Economist. 4 January 2014. Retrieved27 September 2015. Quote: «The wars and depressions between 1914 and 1950 dragged the wealthy back to earth. Wars brought physical destruction of capital, nationalisation, taxation and inflation»
  13. Starting in the late 1970s and accelerating through the 1980s and 1990s many of these corporations were privatized, though many still remain wholly or partially owned by the respective governments.
  14. Hart, Oliver (2017). "Incomplete Contracts and Control". American Economic Review. 107 (7): 1731–1752. doi:10.1257/aer.107.7.1731. ISSN 0002-8282.
  15. Hart, O.; Shleifer, A.; Vishny, R. W. (1997). "The Proper Scope of Government: Theory and an Application to Prisons". The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 112 (4): 1127–1161. CiteSeerX10.1.1.318.7133. doi:10.1162/003355300555448. ISSN 0033-5533. S2CID 16270301.
  16. Hoppe, Eva I.; Schmitz, Patrick W. (2010). "Public versus private ownership: Quantity contracts and the allocation of investment tasks". Journal of Public Economics. 94 (3–4): 258–268. doi:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2009.11.009. ISSN 0047-2727.

Sources

State-owned enterprise
State owned enterprise Language Watch Edit Crown corporation redirects here For Crown corporations in Canada its provinces and its territories see Crown corporations of Canada Public sector undertaking redirects here For the Indian equivalent see Public sector undertakings in India This article is about enterprises owned by the state or a state entity For publicly traded companies see Public company This article needs attention from an expert in economics finance amp investment business or law The specific problem is Subscription probably needed to access much of the research and familiarity with the technical diction common in reliable sources would be a major asset See the talk page for details WikiProject Economics WikiProject Finance amp investment WikiProject Business or WikiProject Law may be able to help recruit an expert July 2018 A state owned enterprise SOE or government owned enterprise GOE is a business enterprise where the government or state has significant control through full majority or significant minority ownership 1 Defining characteristics of SOEs are their distinct legal form and operation in commercial affairs and activities While they may also have public policy objectives e g a state railway company may aim to make transportation more accessible SOEs should be differentiated from government agencies or state entities established to pursue purely nonfinancial objectives 2 Contents 1 Terminology 2 Use 2 1 Economic reasons 2 1 1 Natural monopolies 2 1 2 Infant industries 2 2 Political reasons 3 Effects 3 1 Compared to government bureaucracy 3 2 Compared to regular enterprises 4 Around the world 5 Economic theory 6 See also 7 References 7 1 Citations 7 2 Sources 8 Further readingTerminology EditThe terminology around the term state owned enterprise is murky All three words in the term are challenged and subject to interpretation First it is debatable what the term state implies e g it is unclear whether municipally owned corporations and enterprises held by regional public bodies are considered state owned Next it is contestable under what circumstances a SOE qualifies as owned by a state SOEs can be fully owned or partially owned it is difficult to determine categorically what level of state ownership would qualify an entity to be considered as state owned since governments can also own regular stock without implying any special interference Finally the term enterprise is challenged as it implies statutes in private law which may not always be present and so the term corporations is frequently used instead 3 4 Thus SOEs are known under many other terms state owned company state owned entity state enterprise publicly owned corporation government business enterprise government owned company government owned corporation government sponsored enterprise commercial government agency state privatised industry public sector undertaking or parastatal among others In the Commonwealth realms particularly in Australia Canada New Zealand and the United Kingdom country wide SOEs often use the term Crown corporation or Crown entity as cabinet ministers Ministers of the Crown often control the shares in them The term government linked company GLC is sometimes used to refer to corporate entities that may be private or public listed on a stock exchange where an existing government owns a stake using a holding company The two main definitions of GLCs are dependent on the proportion of the corporate entity a government owns One definition purports that a company is classified as a GLC if a government owns an effective controlling interest more than 50 while the second definition suggests that any corporate entity that has a government as a shareholder is a GLC The act of turning a part of government bureaucracy into a SOE is called corporatization 5 6 7 Use EditEconomic reasons Edit Natural monopolies Edit SOEs are common with natural monopolies because they allow capturing economies of scale while they can simultaneously achieve a public objective For that reason SOEs primarily operate in the domain of infrastructure e g railway companies strategic goods and services e g postal services arms manufacturing and procurement natural resources and energy e g nuclear facilities alternative energy delivery politically sensitive business broadcasting banking demerit goods e g alcoholic beverages and merit goods healthcare Infant industries Edit SOEs can also help foster industries that are considered economically desirable and that would otherwise not be developed through private investments 8 When nascent or infant industries have difficulty getting investments from the private sector perhaps because the good that is being produced requires very risky investments when patenting is difficult or when spillover effects exist the government can help these industries get on the market with positive economic effects However the government cannot necessarily predict which industries would qualify as such infant industries and so the extent to which this is a viable argument for SOEs is debated 9 Political reasons Edit SOEs are also frequently employed in areas where the government wants to levy user fees but finds it politically difficult to introduce new taxation Next SOEs can be used to improve efficiency of public service delivery or as a step towards partial privatization or hybridization SOEs can also be a means to alleviate fiscal stress as SOEs may not count towards states budgets Effects EditCompared to government bureaucracy Edit Compared to government bureaucracy state owned enterprises might be beneficial because they reduce politicians influence over the service 10 11 Conversely they might be detrimental because they reduce oversight and increase transaction costs such as monitoring costs i e it is more difficult and costly to govern and regulate an autonomous SOE than it is the public bureaucracy Evidence suggests that existing SOEs are typically more efficient than government bureaucracy but that this benefit diminishes as services get more technical and have less overt public objectives 4 Compared to regular enterprises Edit Compared to a regular enterprise state owned enterprises are typically expected to be less efficient due to political interference but unlike profit driven enterprises they are more likely to focus on public objectives 11 Around the world EditMain article List of government owned companies In Eastern Europe and Western Europe there was a massive nationalization throughout the 20th century especially after World War II In Eastern Europe governments dominated by Communists adopted the Soviet model Governments in Western Europe both left and right of centre saw state intervention as necessary to rebuild economies shattered by war 12 Government control over so called natural monopolies like industry was the norm Typical sectors included telephones electric power fossil fuels railways airlines media postal services banks and water Many large industrial corporations were also nationalized or created as government corporations including among many others British Steel Corporation Statoil and Irish Sugar 13 A state run enterprise may operate differently from an ordinary limited liability corporation For example in Finland state run enterprises liikelaitos are governed by a separate act Even though responsible for their own finances they cannot be declared bankrupt the state answers for the liabilities Stocks of the corporation are not sold and loans have to be government approved as they are government liabilities In most OPEC countries the governments own the oil companies operating on their soil A notable example is the Saudi Arabian national oil company Saudi Aramco which the Saudi government bought in 1988 changing its name from Arabian American Oil Company to Saudi Arabian Oil Company The Saudi government also owns and operates Saudi Arabian Airlines and owns 70 of SABIC as well as many other companies citation needed In the EU directives were issued and signed into law in member countries that railway should be split into branches So where everything from infrastructure to running the trains had been in one company often owned by the local state or other authorities now the various activities were to be separated into independent companies A major motivation was to more easily enable free access to run trains in the various countries and thereby increase competition and offer lower fees Economic theory EditIn economic theory the question of whether a firm should be owned by the state or by the private sector is studied in the theory of incomplete contracts that was developed by Oliver Hart and his co authors 14 In a world in which complete contracts were feasible ownership would not matter because the same incentive structure that prevails under one ownership structure could be replicated under the other ownership structure Hart Shleifer and Vishny 1997 have developed the leading application of the incomplete contract theory to the issue of state owned enterprises 15 These authors compare a situation in which the government is in control of a firm to a situation in which a private manager is in control The manager can invest to come up with cost reducing and quality enhancing innovations The government and the manager bargain over the implementation of the innovations If the negotiations fail the owner can decide about the implementation It turns out that when cost reducing innovations do not harm quality significantly then private firms are to be preferred Yet when cost reductions may strongly reduce quality state owned enterprises are superior Hoppe and Schmitz 2010 have extended this theory in order to allow for a richer set of governance structures including different forms of public private partnerships 16 See also Edit Companies portal Corporatism Dirigisme List of government owned airlines List of government owned companies State owned enterprises of the United States Nationalization Public benefit corporation Public bodies Public ownership Quango State capitalism Statutory body Volkseigener BetriebReferences EditCitations Edit State Owned Enterprises Catalysts for public value creation PDF PwC Retrieved 16 January 2018 Profiles of Existing Government Corporations pp 1 16 Antonio F Tavares and Pedro J Camoes 2007 2007 Local service delivery choices in Portugal A political transaction costs network Local Government Studies 33 4 535 553 doi 10 1080 03003930701417544 S2CID 154709321 a b Voorn Bart Marieke L Van Genugten and Sandra Van Thiel 2017 2017 The efficiency and effectiveness of municipally owned corporations A systematic review Local Government Studies 43 5 820 841 doi 10 1080 03003930 2017 1319360 hdl 2066 176125 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Grossi Giuseppe and Reichard C 2008 2008 Municipal corporatization in Germany and Italy Public Management Review 10 5 597 617 doi 10 1080 14719030802264275 S2CID 153354582 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Ferry Laurence Rhys Andrews Chris Skelcher and Piotr Wegorowski 2018 2018 New development Corporatization of local authorities in England in the wake of austerity 2010 2016 PDF Public Money amp Management 38 6 477 480 doi 10 1080 09540962 2018 1486629 S2CID 158266874 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Voorn Bart Sandra Van Thiel and Marieke van Genugten 2018 2018 Debate Corporatization as more than a recent crisis driven development Public Money amp Management 38 7 481 482 doi 10 1080 09540962 2018 1527533 S2CID 158097385 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Kowalski P Buge M Sztajerowska M and Egeland M 2013 State Owned Enterprises Trade Effects and Policy Implications PDF OECD Trade Policy Papers 147 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link Baldwin R E 1969 The case against infant industry tariff protection PDF Journal of political economy pp 295 305 Shleifer Andrei and Robert W Vishny 1994 1994 Politicians and firms The Quarterly Journal of Economics 109 4 995 1025 doi 10 2307 2118354 JSTOR 2118354 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link a b Shleifer Andrei and Robert W Vishny 1997 1994 A survey of corporate governance The Quarterly Journal of Economics 109 4 995 1025 doi 10 2307 2118354 JSTOR 2118354 CS1 maint multiple names authors list link All Men Are Created Unequal The Economist 4 January 2014 Retrieved 27 September 2015 Quote The wars and depressions between 1914 and 1950 dragged the wealthy back to earth Wars brought physical destruction of capital nationalisation taxation and inflation Starting in the late 1970s and accelerating through the 1980s and 1990s many of these corporations were privatized though many still remain wholly or partially owned by the respective governments Hart Oliver 2017 Incomplete Contracts and Control American Economic Review 107 7 1731 1752 doi 10 1257 aer 107 7 1731 ISSN 0002 8282 Hart O Shleifer A Vishny R W 1997 The Proper Scope of Government Theory and an Application to Prisons The Quarterly Journal of Economics 112 4 1127 1161 CiteSeerX 10 1 1 318 7133 doi 10 1162 003355300555448 ISSN 0033 5533 S2CID 16270301 Hoppe Eva I Schmitz Patrick W 2010 Public versus private ownership Quantity contracts and the allocation of investment tasks Journal of Public Economics 94 3 4 258 268 doi 10 1016 j jpubeco 2009 11 009 ISSN 0047 2727 Sources Edit Profiles of Existing Government Corporations A Study Prepared by the U S General Accounting Office for the Committee on Government Operations PDF Washington DC U S Government Printing Office 1988 p 301 GAO AFMD 89 43FS Document H402 4 Alternate location Malaysia GLC OpenDay 2015 archived from the original on 2015 10 25 Further reading EditThe Public Firm with Managerial Incentives by Elmer G Wiens Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title State owned enterprise amp oldid 1052668304, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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