Ownership and Corporate Governance in the Hungarian Large Enterprise Sector

Privatization of the post-socialist economies, including the transfer of state assets to other proprietors, new start ups and green field investments has produced a wide variety of ownership structures in Central and Eastern Europe. One of the main question discussed in recent years concerns the basic characteristics of the post-socialist ownership. Are the new structures peculiar as compared to recent Western market economies, as several researchers argue (Stark 1996, Earle and Estrin 1997, Andreff 1998)? Is the dominant form some kind of recombinant property, i.e. a mixture of state and private ownership, dominated by inter-organizational (corporate) shareholders (Stark 1996, Stark and Kemény 1997)? Or we face a model of managerial capitalism, as Szelényi-Eyal-Townsley (1996) suggest?
This paper analyses the Hungarian case that seems to be rather special in comparison to other post-socialist countries - but not peculiar in comparison to some other market economies. We will argue that the basic features of the ownership structure in big enterprise sector are not dominated by specific institutional solutions. If there are some specific features, they include mainly quantitative aspects (like the concentration of assets, outputs and ownership positions, the predominance of foreign investors) instead of qualitative ones.

In: Corporate Governance in a Changing Economic and Political Environment: Trajectories of Institutional Change, Michal Federowicz, Ruth V. Aguilera eds., Palgrave MacMillan, New York, 2003. 170-194.

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