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Rent-seeking incentives, corporate political connections, and the control structure of private firms: Chinese evidence

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  • Chen, Charles J.P.
  • Li, Zengquan
  • Su, Xijia
  • Sun, Zheng
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    Abstract

    We examine how the rent-seeking incentives of local government motivate private firms1 listed in China to establish political connections, and whether such connections lead to more concentrated corporate control structures. Our results show that such firms are more likely to establish political connections in regions in which the local economy is less market-oriented or in which the government has more discretion in allocating economic resources. This is consistent with the notion that the presence of incentives for government officials to engage in rent seeking motivates private firms to look for alternative safeguards through political connections. We also find that the controlling owners of politically connected firms tend to concentrate their shareholdings and dominate the board of directors by occupying the position of either chairman or CEO, which supports the conjecture that a concentrated control structure facilitates rent seeking through political connections and allows the controlling owner to retain all of the benefits arising from connections with politicians.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 2 (April)
    Pages: 229-243

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:2:p:229-243

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

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    Keywords: Rent-seeking incentives Political connections Emerging markets;

    References

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    1. Fan, Joseph P.H. & Wong, T.J. & Zhang, Tianyu, 2007. "Politically connected CEOs, corporate governance, and Post-IPO performance of China's newly partially privatized firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 330-357, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Murray, Cameron K., 2012. "Markets in political influence: rent-seeking, networks and groups," MPRA Paper 42070, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Humphery-Jenner, Mark & Suchard, Jo-Ann, 2013. "Foreign VCs and venture success: Evidence from China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 16-35.
    3. Hu, Fang & Pan, Xiaofei & Tian, Gary, 2013. "Does CEO pay dispersion matter in an emerging market? Evidence from China's listed firms," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 235-255.
    4. Lin, Chen & Lin, Ping & Zou, Hong, 2012. "Does property rights protection affect corporate risk management strategy? Intra- and cross-country evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 311-330.
    5. Liu, Qigui & Tang, Jinghua & Tian, Gary Gang, 2013. "Does political capital create value in the IPO market? Evidence from China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 395-413.
    6. Ma, Liangbo & Ma, Shiguang & Tian, Gary, 2013. "Political connections, founder-managers, and their impact on tunneling in China's listed firms," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 312-339.

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