The Challenges of Privatization: An International Analysis

By Bernardo Bortolotti; Domenico Siniscalco | Go to book overview

Appendix 1: Data and Methodology

The empirical analyses are based on a series of international data sets which have been constructed at the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei, and contain several privatization, economic, financial, political, and institutional data, mainly for the period 1977-2001.

In this appendix we will describe how the variables have been constructed, and their sources.


1 Privatization Variables

The primary sources of our privatization data are Privatization International and Securities Data Corporation, 1 reporting globally 3,535 transactions worth over $127 billion (current as of 2001) in 140 countries.

Our sources report information at the transaction level about the type of privatization (PO or PS). The data for each privatization carried out by private sale or public offer include the date of the deal, the company's industrial sector and country, the total value of the transaction (in current US$ million), the per cent for sale, and other qualitative information. In the sample group, the maximum value recorded for a single operation is around $40 billion (current), while the minimum is $100,000 for an average of $306 million.


2 Political Variables

In order to test the political theories, we need data about the partisan dimension of privatization. In particular, we want to identify the political orientation of privatizing governments over time.

In this direction, we have retrieved the political history of the forty-nine countries in the La Porta et al. (1998) sample from the Banks et al. 1997 edition of the Political Handbook of the World. This source reports election dates, dates of appointment of the cabinets, and a description of political systems around the world up to 1997. We updated this information for the years 1998-99 by use of Internet sources mentioned in the detailed definitions of the political variables.

We then used Wilfried Derksen's Electoral Web Sites and classification system to label incumbent governments, considering the platform and ideological orientation of the supporting parties. Four possible categories are identified: (i) democratic conservative (right wing); (ii) centrist and Christian-democratic; (iii) democratic left wing; (iv) non-democratic.

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