Early transition literature linked large number of firm failures with the inability to overcome the pre-transition misallocation of resources, i.e. the inadequate capital-labor ratio. We look at the link between misallocation and firm survival using a rich firm-level dataset of over 1600 manufacturing plants established in a centrally planned economy after 1945. Our duration models include the standard Olley-Pakes misallocation measures as well as firm-level counterfactual level of capital that takes into account the present day market allocation and productivity. We show that i) misallocation was rather a firm-level than sector-level phenomenon and more importantly ii) it did not have a sizeable effect on the actual firm survival. Moreover, privatization tends to be negatively related to firm survival. This may imply both inappropriate self-selection into privatization programs and possibly inadequate implementation of the privatization.
This paper utilizes our novel dataset on survival of all state manufacturing plants from 1988, details here.