Which Enterprises (Believe They) Have Soft Budgets? Evidence on the Effects of Ownership and Decentralization in Mongolia

James H. Anderson, Georges Korsun and Peter Murrell , Journal of Comparative Economics 28(2) , 219-246 , June 2000.

To ascertain the prevalence of soft budgets and to find causes of softness, we surveyed Mongolian enterprises, asking whether state aid was expected when financial difficulties arose. One-quarter of the enterprises expected soft budgets, a large proportion of which have central government ownership. We examine causes of soft budgets in addition to state ownership, but the central government variable dominates. These results are confirmed using instrumental variables or bivariate probit to unmask unmeasured selection effects. Local government ownership has a much weaker effect than does central ownership, suggesting a crucial role for decentralization.

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