Journal article

Maciej Bałtowski, Piotr Kozarzewski (2016)

Formal and real ownership structure of the Polish economy: state-owned versus state-controlled enterprises

Journal Post-Communist Economies
Number/Volume 3 (2016)
Page references 405-409

ISSN: Print 1463-1377, Online 1465-3958

This article analyses the difference between the state's formal and real shares in the Polish economy. We identify two basic types of corporate control exercised by the state over enterprises through ownership (in the case of majority ownership) and non-ownership tools (in the case of minority ownership). Consequently, we distinguish between two types of state enterprises: state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and state-controlled enterprises (SCEs). In post-communist economies, SCEs mainly originate from so-called reluctant privatisation, in which the transfer of ownership rights takes place without the appropriate transfer of control rights. We discuss the tools of non-ownership control used by the state. Our estimates of the real share of state enterprises in the Polish economy (which include both SOEs and SCEs) show that it is almost two times higher than the formal share (only SOEs). The share of state enterprises is also highest in the group of Poland's largest and most important firms. We conclude that the real importance of state enterprises in the Polish economy is much higher than might be expected if only the formal share of state ownership is taken into account.