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Empirical Effects of Performance Contracts: Evidence from China

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Author Info

  • Shirley, Mary M
  • Xu, Lixin Colin

Abstract

Performance contracts (PCs)--contracts signed between the government and state enterprise managers--have been used widely in developing countries. China's experience with such contracts was one of the largest experiments with contracting in the public sector, affecting hundreds of thousands of state firms, and offered a rare opportunity to explore how PCs work. On average, PCs did not improve performance and may have made it worse. But China's PCs were not uniformly bad; in fact, PCs improved productivity in slightly more than half of the participants. PC effects were on average negative because of the large losses associated with poorly designed PCs. Successful PCs were those that featured sensible targets, stronger incentives, longer terms, managerial bonds, and were in more competitive industries. Selecting managers through bidding was not associated with performance improvement. Good PC features were more often observed in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the oversight of local governments, that faced more competition, that were smaller in size, and that had better previous performance. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Volume (Year): 17 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 168-200

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:17:y:2001:i:1:p:168-200

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Cited by:
  1. Clarke, George R. G. & Gebreab, Frew A. & Mgombelo, Henry R., 2003. "Telecommunications reform in Malawi," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3036, The World Bank.
  2. Qing Gong Yang & Paul Temple, 2009. "Reform and Competitive Selection in China: An Analysis of Firm Exits," School of Economics Discussion Papers 0409, School of Economics, University of Surrey.
  3. Zhang, Le-Yin, 2004. "The Roles of Corporatization and Stock Market Listing in Reforming China's State Industry," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2031-2047, December.
  4. Hu, Fang & Leung, Sidney C.M., 2012. "Top management turnover, firm performance and government control: Evidence from China's listed state-owned enterprises," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 235-262.
  5. Yang, Ruilong & Wang, Yuan & Nie, Huihua, 2012. "“准官员”的晋升机制:来自中国央企的证据
    [The Political Promotion for Quasi-Government Officers: Evidence from Central State-owned Enterprises in China]
    ," MPRA Paper 50317, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 2013.
  6. Ben Vollaard, 2003. "Performance contracts for police forces," CPB Document 31, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  7. Stoyan Tenev & Chunlin Zhang & Loup Brefort, 2002. "Corporate Governance and Enterprise Reform in China : Building the Institutions of Modern Markets," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15237, October.
  8. Bai, Chong-En & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2005. "Incentives for CEOs with multitasks: Evidence from Chinese state-owned enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 517-539, September.
  9. Frank H.M. Verbeeten, 2008. "Performance management practices in public sector organizations: Impact on performance," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 21(3), pages 427-454, April.
  10. Liu Wang & William Judge, 2012. "Managerial ownership and the role of privatization in transition economies: The case of China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 479-498, June.
  11. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Ge, Ying & Qiu, Jiaping, 2005. "Corporate governance and manager turnover: An unusual social experiment," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1459-1481, June.
  12. 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.
  13. 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).
  14. Li, Hongbin & Rozelle, Scott, 2001. "Insider Privatization With A Tail: The Buyout Price And Performance Of Privatized Firms In Rural China," Working Papers 11968, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  15. Hu, Fang & Tan, Weiqiang & Xin, Qingquan & Yang, Sixian, 2013. "How do market forces affect executive compensation in Chinese state-owned enterprises?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 78-87.
  16. Chong-En Bai & Qiao Liu & Joe Lu & Frank Song & Junxi Zhang, 2003. "Corporate Governance and Market Valuation in China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-564, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  17. Bogaard, Hein & Svejnar, Jan, 2013. "Incentive Pay and Performance: Insider Econometrics in a Multi-Unit Firm," IZA Discussion Papers 7800, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Kikeri, Sunita & Nellis, John, 2002. "Privatization in competitive sectors : the record to date," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2860, The World Bank.
  19. Bai, Chong-En & Liu, Qiao & Lu, Joe & Song, Frank M. & Zhang, Junxi, 2004. "Corporate governance and market valuation in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 599-616, December.
  20. Liu, Guy S. & Sun, Pei & Woo, Wing Thye, 2006. "The Political Economy of Chinese-Style Privatization: Motives and Constraints," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2016-2033, December.
  21. Xia, Jun & Li, Shaomin & Long, Cheryl, 2009. "The Transformation of Collectively Owned Enterprises and its Outcomes in China, 2001-05," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1651-1662, October.
  22. O'Connor, Neale G. & Deng, Johnny & Luo, Yadong, 2006. "Political constraints, organization design and performance measurement in China's state-owned enterprises," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 157-177, February.

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