Reluctant regulation

Bernardo Bortolotti, Carlo Cambini, Laura Rondi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study the effect of state ownership on the market-to-book ratios of publicly traded European utilities from 1994 to 2005. We find that when the company is subject to independent regulation, state ownership seems positively associated with firm value. This relation tends to appear in countries where weak checks and balances and political fragmentation do not constrain the power of the executive. Our results suggest that, where political institutions are weak, politicians may influence regulatory agencies in order to benefit state-owned firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)804-828
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Comparative Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2013


  • Firm value
  • Political institutions
  • Privatization
  • Regulatory independence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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