During the 1990s, foreign direct investment flowed into Latin America at an unprecedented rate. Capital inflows associated with privatizations and private mergers and acquisitions (M&As) rose steeply. Drawing on original firm-level transactions data, this article examines the extent to which UK enterprises participated in the Latin American privatization and private M&A boom. The authors conclude that, relative to their counterparts in many other major industrial countries, UK enterprises adopted a cautious stance, largely eschewing privatization opportunities and concentrating M&A activities on relatively few operations, sectors and countries, in order to strengthen product and market positions. Moreover, the strategic logic guiding the most important corporate acquisitions centred on gaining access to domestic markets rather than attempting to create global export platforms. Copyright 2002 CIRIEC.
The study quantifies the differences in the level of return from investing in deposit (savings) accounts provided by depository institutions, which are either 'mutual' or 'proprietary'. It is shown that for most types of deposit accounts offered in the UK, mutual building societies provide higher returns than proprietary firms. Surprisingly, it is also shown that returns from deposit accounts issued by converted or non-mutual building societies are, generally, lower than either mutual building societies or proprietary firms. These findings are consistent for interest rate data adjusted for the effect of non-price product characteristics and for unadjusted interest rate data. Copyright CIRIEC, 2003.
Nous mesurons à l’aide du DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) l’efficacité des caisses populaires acadiennes en utilisant la valeur des produits d’intermédiation ainsi que le nombre de transactions réalisées par chaque caisse entre 1997 et 2000, au moment où un important programme de fusions et de réingénierie financière était mis en place. Cette analyse permet d’établir plusieurs résultats. Tout d’abord, l’inclusion des produits transactionnels réduit environ de moitié l’inefficacité technique et économique par rapport à l’inefficacité obtenue lorsque l’output des caisses est limité seulement aux produits transactionnels. Un algorithme d’auto‐amorçage permet de vérifier que ce résultat est statistiquement significatif. Ensuite, nous montrons que le programme de fusions a touché surtout les caisses moins efficaces et a permis d’augmenter de façon importante leur efficacité grâce à une baisse du nombre d’employés en équivalent temps complet. Finalement, nous montrons que d’importants progrès technologiques ont été réalisés entre 1997 et 2000 en raison de l’accroissement du nombre de transactions informatisées. Des gains additionnels de productivité ont été rendus possible grâce à l’amélioration de l’efficacité des caisses ayant participéà une fusion tandis que les caisses n’ayant pas fusionné, bien que plus efficaces au départ que les autres, n’ont pas réalisé de gains d’efficacité.
Restructuring of the Russian railways system is well under way. Among the policies just now coming into practice are two that are standard in railways restructuring in other countries: the provision of access to the infrastructure by independent train operating companies, and assurances of non-discriminatory access terms for such companies. However, 'discrimination'- in the traditional economic sense - is a standard and often welfare-enhancing pricing strategy for the recovery of fixed costs in a sector, like railways, with declining average costs. If competition regulators are unable to distinguish between discrimination that harms competition and discrimination designed only to recover fixed costs, policy makers in Russia and elsewhere will face a choice between large government subsidies and large welfare losses. In these circumstances, other restructuring models should be considered. Copyright CIRIEC, 2004.
Organizations within the social economy have unique characteristics, yet their accounting procedures do not reflect this uniqueness, and rather are designed for private-sector organizations that exchange their goods and services in the market. We argue that conventional accounting creates a perception that social economy organizations are users of resources and separate from the private and public sectors, rather than creators of value and an integral part of our society (Quarter, Mook, and Richmond, 2003a). This paper addresses the accounting needs of social economy organizations by presenting a model of social accounting-the Socioeconomic Impact Statement-that may help bring out the impact of such organizations. The paper presents a demonstration project of the potential utility of the Socioeconomic Impact Statement. Copyright CIRIEC, 2006.
Empirical studies on the cost structure of Public Transit Networks are mainly based on specialized firms providing urban or intercity services. In this study we estimate a translogarithmic variable cost function to assess the behaviour of returns to scale and the impact of network characteristics. The analysis is based on a sample of 45 Italian municipal companies observed from 1996 to 1998 and including both specialized and mixed transit operators. Results confirm previous evidence on the existence of natural monopoly in the industry and support a regulation introducing competitive tenders to access to the market. In addition, we provide insights about the advantages associated with urban-intercity diversification and with the improvement of network commercial speed. Cost benefits can then be achieved by promoting mergers between neighbouring firms, so as to create new companies operating on integrated local networks and supplying in combination urban and intercity public transport. Implications of such a strategy for the design of tender mechanisms are also underlined, together with the need for a regulatory policy which takes more care of speed-up measures. Copyright CIRIEC, 2004.
In recent years, privatization has become common across Africa, reversing the long-term growth in state ownership of business enterprises. Many have interpreted this as entailing the abandonment of the developmental objectives that state enterprises were established to pursue. Others, however, have suggested that the privatization process can itself provide a new means through which the same objectives may be achieved. This article examines the potential for privatization to be used to promote indigenous ownership. This objective was pursued in newly independent states across Africa and today remains an aim of many of the governments undertaking privatization. The article provides a typology of the range of measures that can be employed to promote indigenous ownership in the context of privatization. It examines those used in the Zambian privatization programme, assessing the degree to which they have been successful and the obstacles they have faced. Finally, it concludes with a comparison of the Zambian case with other African experiences. Copyright 2002 CIRIEC.
Given the essential role co-ops play in the Canadian economy, the primary purpose of this paper is to develop methods to forecast their likelihood of insolvency. However, investor-owner firms form the basic unit of analysis of most popular bankruptcy predictors used in Canada. The question is whether the key underlying elements that differentiates the latter from co-ops justifies deriving specific bankruptcy prediction formulas exclusively for each type of business organization. To that effect, this research evaluates the efficacy of these current predictors and suggests an improved predictor for agricultural co-operatives. Copyright CIRIEC, 2005.
On the basis of the definitions that have found the greatest acceptance among the scientific community, this paper identifies the business formulas that comprise the Social Economy in the agri-food sector with reference to the case of Spain, for which the latest data and figures are presented. At the same time, it presents a comparative study with agricultural cooperatives in the European Union, using the cluster analysis method, in order to place the business situation of Spanish cooperatives within this context. Copyright CIRIEC, 2003.
Over the last decade, increasing financial problems in the Portuguese Agricultural Credit Cooperatives (ACCs), mainly difficulty in gathering equity, have forced them to pursue an intensive merger activity. This paper describes the economic reasons that have led the ACCs to merge, and analyses the ex post merger impact on their economic performance. The results show that: (a) incorporating ACCs are larger, more profitable and hold a better credit management; (b) incorporated ACCs are smaller, face difficulties in reaching a minimum efficient scale and have weaker credit management as well as leverage problems; and (c) merged ACCs have a heavy administrative cost structure and also face profitability problems. Regarding the mergers' ex post impact on the ACCs performance, we find no positive influence on cost reduction, credit management and solvency ratio. Copyright CIRIEC, 2005.
The deployment of the so-called UMTS 3rd generation mobile networks is a step of vital importance for the promotion of competition in the telecommunications sector. The provision of high-traffic services presupposes that operators have access to the hertzian spectrum.
The hertzian spectrum is a natural resource whose scarcity derives from the fact that only part of it is usable, for both technical and economic reasons. While the resource was sufficient to meet users' needs, the hertzian spectrum was allocated for little or no charge, on the principle of ‘first come, first served’. However, with the explosion of technical progress in transmission technologies, new applications and new forms of use appeared, leading to a drastic increase in potential demand. It is in this context that the idea of charging for use of the spectrum arose, so as to discourage uneconomical use of the resource (e.g. stockpiling, wastage), to ensure a fair allocation between competing users and to forestall congestion.
The purpose of this paper is first to examine the procedures for the allocation of hertzian spectrum operating licences, from the points of view of efficiency, transparency and sharing of the surplus. We shall then compare the results from the two approaches that were actually used in Europe: the open ascending auction and the beauty contest, before turning our attention to new forms of public action that result from the process of liberalization.
RÉSUMÉ: Le faible niveau moyen d’efficience des institutions bancaires habituellement trouvé dans les études empiriques a été qualifié de « boîte noire » par Berger et Mester (1997). Cette étude cherche à identifier si les caractéristiques de l’environnement de même que celles qui sont propres à une coopérative d’épargne et de crédit pourraient expliquer une partie des écarts de performance apparaissant dans les scores d’efficience. Le modèle de coût que nous avons estimé est basé sur la valeur ajoutée par l’intermédiation financière. Par ailleurs, pour éviter la perte d’informations découlant de la borne à l’unité des scores d’efficience découlant du DEA, nous avons comparé les résultats d’une analyse avec le score d’efficience et de superefficience. Nos résultats montrent qu’au moins 34% des écarts de scores peuvent être expliqués par un ensemble limité de variables: taille de la coopérative, taux de capitalisation, épargne par membre, nombre de membres et type de marché.
From a psychosocial perspective, we have attempted to identify the characteristics of the democratic systems of a sample of 36 Andalusian cooperatives of associated workers. In this study it has become evident that those who participate the least in the governments of their organizations are the workers and those with less education. Thus, there is a high degree of association between participation in the governing of the cooperative and the development within it of an appropriate organizational culture. The results of this study have allowed us to empirically deconstruct the concept of cooperative democracy, and this process may have an effect on the improvement of human resource administration in this type of organization. Copyright CIRIEC, 2003.
This paper examines the causes of the contractual disputes in the water and sanitation sectors and the resulting reversal of the privatization process. The evidence has been gathered from four major case studies in Argentina. The discussion is based on the evidence contained in the legal submissions made by the Government of Argentina and the disputing companies to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. The findings of the paper offer important lessons for the design and management of similar contracts for other countries.