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Incentive contracting versus ownership reforms: evidence from China's township and village enterprises

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  • Chang, Chun
  • McCall, Brian P.
  • Wang, Yijiang

Abstract

We use a unique data set to study the implications of introducing managerial incentives and, in addition to incentives, better defined ownership for a firm's financial performance. The data set traces the ten-year history of 80 Chinese rural enterprises, known as township and village enterprises. During this period, these originally (mostly) community owned, local government controlled socialist collective firms were first allowed to introduce managerial incentive contracts and then to change to ownership forms of more clearly defined income and control rights. The study finds that introducing managerial incentives had a positive but statistically insignificant effect on these firms' performance measured by accounting return on assets or return on equity. It also finds that the performance is significantly better under ownership forms of better-defined rights than under community ownership even when the latter is supplemented with managerial incentive contracts. The findings shed lights on some important theoretical and policy issues. Classification-JEL:

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Comparative Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 414-428

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:31:y:2003:i:3:p:414-428

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622864

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References

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  1. Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, 1998. "Institutional Environment, Community Government, and Corporate Governance: Understanding China's Township-Village Enterprises," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 59, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  2. McMillan, John & Naughton, Barry, 1992. "How to Reform a Planned Economy: Lessons from China," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(1), pages 130-43, Spring.
  3. Groves, Theodore, et al, 1994. "Autonomy and Incentives in Chinese State Enterprises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 183-209, February.
  4. Gary H. Jefferson & Thomas G. Rawski, 1994. "Enterprise Reform in Chinese Industry," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 47-70, Spring.
  5. Armen A. Alchian & Harold Demsetz, 1971. "Production, Information Costs and Economic Organizations," UCLA Economics Working Papers 10A, UCLA Department of Economics.
  6. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Pranab Bardhan & John E. Roemer, 1992. "Market Socialism: A Case for Rejuvenation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 101-116, Summer.
  8. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-58, December.
  9. Megginson, William L. & Netter, Jeffry M., 2000. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Working paper 398, Regulation2point0.
  10. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  11. repec:reg:rpubli:398 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Chang Chun & Wang Yijiang, 1994. "The Nature of the Township-Village Enterprise," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 434-452, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Kato, Takao & Long, Cheryl, 2006. "Executive Compensation, Firm Performance, and Corporate Governance in China: Evidence from Firms Listed in the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 945-83, July.
  2. Takao Kato & Cheryl Long, 2004. "Executive Compensation, Firm Performance, and State Ownership in China: Evidence from New Panel Data," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2004-690, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  3. Kato, Takao & Long, Cheryl, 2006. "CEO turnover, firm performance, and enterprise reform in China: Evidence from micro data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 796-817, December.
  4. Sandeep Mohapatra & Rachael Goodhue & Scott Rozelle, 2008. "Incentive Complementarity in China’s Rural Enterprises," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 63-79, August.
  5. Pradeep Kautish, 2010. "Study On Impact Of Environmental Change On Selected Public Sector Enterprises In India," Romanian Economic Business Review, Romanian-American University, vol. 5(2), pages 68-88, June.
  6. Xu, Cheng-Gang, 2010. "The Institutional Foundations of China’s Reforms and Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 7654, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Mugisha, Silver, 2007. "Effects of incentive applications on technical efficiencies: Empirical evidence from Ugandan water utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 225-233, December.
  8. Fleisher, Belton M. & Wang, Xiaojun, 2003. "Potential residual and relative wages in Chinese township and village enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 429-443, September.
  9. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Putterman, Louis & Unel, Bulent, 2006. "Privatization and firm performance: A comparison between rural and urban enterprises in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 608-633, September.
  10. Kato, Takao & Long, Cheryl, 2006. "CEO Turnover, Firm Performance and Enterprise Reform in China: Evidence from New Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1914, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Zhang, Anming & Zhang, Yimin & Zhao, Ronald, 2002. "Profitability and productivity of Chinese industrial firms: Measurement and ownership implications," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 65-88.
  12. Ito, Junichi, 2006. "Economic and institutional reform packages and their impact on productivity: A case study of Chinese township and village enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 167-190, March.

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