OECD Science, Technology and Industry Policy Papers

The OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) develops evidence-based policy advice on the contribution of science, technology and industry to well-being and economic growth. STI Policy Papers cover a broad range of topics, including industry and globalisation, innovation and entrepreneurship, scientific R&D and emerging technologies. These reports are officially declassified by an OECD Committee.


State enterprises in the steel sector

This report assesses the extent and implications of the presence of state enterprises in the steel industry. There are concerns about the potential lack of transparency and accountability as well as competitive advantages that state enterprises may have over competitors. In 2016, 22 of the world’s 100 largest steelmaking companies were state enterprises, representing at least 32% of global crude steel output in 2016. Firm-level data suggest that state enterprises in the steel sector are likely to be associated with weaker economic performance and higher levels of indebtedness, compared to private enterprises. The analysis in this paper shows that this is particularly relevant for state enterprises located in non-OECD economies. Data on steelmaking capacity investments show that state enterprises have contributed significantly to the increase in global steelmaking capacity, although financial data show that state enterprises obtain lower profits for each unit of fixed costs than comparable private counterparts.


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