Privatization Surprises in Transition Economies: Employee-ownership in Central and Eastern Europe

This up to date book provides the first evidence on employee-ownership in Central and Eastern Europe. This subject has attracted growing interest in recent years, since the sale and free distribution of enterprise shares to employed workers and mangers have surprisingly become frequent privatization methods in many transitional economies. The book highlights some of the crucial issues which have been debated in recent economic literature, in particular the advantages and risks of employee-ownership in comparison with other privatization methods. It also provides an overview of individual countries' experiences and makes some important policy recommendations. Privatization Surprises in Transition Economies is a wide-ranging survey which considers employee- ownership within privatization legislation and its diffusion and implementation problems in 14 transitional economies. Using empirical evidence on the impact of this privatization method, the authors address issues such as enterprise restructuring, employment, wages, productivity and investment policies. They conclude that employee-ownership has a bright future, and that the fears expressed by many policy advisers regarding the negative implications of employee ownership were largely exaggerated. This privatization method has proven to be one of the quickest, and has also brought with it many positive changes such as decentralization, increased productivity and motivation and more moderate restructuring policies - especially with regard to employment reductions. This book also presents some of the weaknesses of this form of privatization and identifies such possible improvement as the use of employee-ownership in combination with other privatization methods.