Several studies have stressed that, contrary to initial expectations, state-owned firms at the beginning of the transition undertook painful measures to adjust to the new economic environment. This paper investigates this behaviour in a simple game theoretic framework. It is argued that the massive amount of lay-offs created by state-owned firms during the initial phase of the transition can be interpreted as a signal directed to the banking sector in order to obtain more favourable financing conditions for the subsequent process of restructuring. The conclusions are strongly supported by Polish firm-level empirical evidence.
- transitional economy, restructuring, signaling