In any planned economy the state owned enterprises (SOEs) are a major factor in stagnant growth and macroeconomic instability.1 Reforming them is extremely difficult because of the social burdens normally imposed upon them. They provide the employees with social welfare for expensive items like medical care, pension benefits, etc. and guarantee employment. The SOE workers regard themselves under a kind of lifetime employment system. Since social safety nets, social welfare, and employment opportunities elsewhere are lacking, they resist very strongly reform programs that may lay them off.
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