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Government intervention and investment efficiency: Evidence from China

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  • Chen, Shimin
  • Sun, Zheng
  • Tang, Song
  • Wu, Donghui
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    Abstract

    The extant corporate investment literature has documented that information asymmetry and agency conflicts between managers and outside investors prevent firms from making optimal investment decisions. In this study, we investigate whether government intervention, as another form of friction, distorts firms' investment behavior and leads to investment inefficiency. Using Chinese data, we test this by measuring government intervention at two different levels. First, we compare investment efficiency between SOEs and non-SOEs. We find that the sensitivity of investment expenditure to investment opportunities is significantly weaker for SOEs. Second, we measure government intervention by whether a firm is politically connected through the employment of top executives with a government background. We find that political connections significantly reduce investment efficiency in SOEs. However, we do not find such evidence in non-SOEs. Taken together, our findings suggest that government intervention in SOEs through majority state ownership or the appointment of connected managers distorts investment behavior and harms investment efficiency.

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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: 259-271

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:2:p:259-271

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

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    Keywords: Government intervention Political connections Investment efficiency China;

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    Cited by:
    1. 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.
    2. Sai Ding & Alessandra Guariglia & John Knight, 2010. "Does China overinvest? Evidence from a panel of Chinese firms," Working Papers 2010_05, Durham University Business School.
    3. Wang, Yizhong & Chen, Carl R. & Huang, Ying Sophie, 2014. "Economic policy uncertainty and corporate investment: Evidence from China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 227-243.
    4. Chen, Alex A. & Cao, Hong & Zhang, Dayong & Dickinson, David G., 2013. "The impact of shareholding structure on firm investment: Evidence from Chinese listed companies," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 85-100.
    5. Dang, Li & Yang, J. Jimmy, 2013. "The choice between rights and underwritten equity offerings: Evidence from Chinese stock markets," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 235-253.
    6. Liang Sun & Chun Liu, 2012. "Capital province, political objectives and the post-IPO policy burden," China Finance Review International, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 121-142, April.
    7. Dong, Liping & Uchida, Konari & Hou, Xiaohong, 2014. "Block trade targets in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 188-201.
    8. Firth, Michael & Malatesta, Paul H. & Xin, Qingquan & Xu, Liping, 2012. "Corporate investment, government control, and financing channels: Evidence from China's Listed Companies," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 433-450.
    9. Guo, Di & Jiang, Kun & Kim, Byung-Yeon & Xu, Chenggang, 2014. "Political economy of private firms in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 286-303.
    10. Knill, April & Lee, Bong-Soo & Mauck, Nathan, 2012. "Bilateral political relations and sovereign wealth fund investment," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 108-123.

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