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Executive Compensation, Firm Performance, and Corporate Governance in China: Evidence from Firms Listed in the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges

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  • Kato, Takao
  • Long, Cheryl

Abstract

This article provides evidence on how executive compensation relates to firm performance in firms listed in the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges in China. Using comprehensive financial and accounting data on China's listed firms from 1998 to 2002, augmented by unique data on executive compensation and ownership structure, we find for the first time statistically significant sensitivities and elasticities of annual cash compensation (salary and bonus) for top executives with respect to shareholder value in China. In addition, sales growth is shown to be significantly linked to executive compensation, and Chinese executives are penalized for making negative profits, although they are neither penalized for declining profits nor rewarded for rising profits insofar as profits are positive. Perhaps more important, we find that the ownership structure of China's listed firms has important effects on the pay-performance link in these firms. Specifically, state ownership of China's listed firms weakens the pay-performance link for top managers and thus possibly makes China's listed firms less effective in solving the principal-agent problem between owners and management. As such, ownership restructuring may be needed for China to successfully transform its state-owned enterprises (SOEs) into efficient modernized corporations and reform its overall economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 54 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 945-83

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:y:2006:v:54:i:4:p:945-83

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Galina Hale & Cheryl Long, 2006. "FDI spillovers and firm ownership in China: labor markets and backward linkages," Working Paper Series 2006-25, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Unite, Angelo A. & Sullivan, Michael J. & Brookman, Jeffrey & Majadillas, Mary Anne & Taningco, Angelo, 2008. "Executive pay and firm performance in the Philippines," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 606-623, November.
  3. Kato, Takao & Kim, Woochan & Lee, Ju Ho, 2007. "Executive compensation, firm performance, and Chaebols in Korea: Evidence from new panel data," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 36-55, January.
  4. Johansson, Anders C. & Feng, Xunan, 2013. "CEO Incentives in Chinese State-Controlled Firms," Working Paper Series 2013-27, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics.
  5. Chi, Wei & Zhang, Haiyan, 2008. "Is Cross-listing Associated with Stronger Executive Incentives? Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 11649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. 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.
  7. Pattarin Adithipyangkul & Ilan Alon & Tianyu Zhang, 2011. "Executive perks: Compensation and corporate performance in China," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 401-425, June.
  8. Cai, Hongbin & Li, Hongbin & Park, Albert & Zhou, Li-An, 2010. "Family Ties and Organizational Design: Evidence from Chinese Private Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 7855, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Shujun Ding & Zhenyu Wu & Yuanshun Li & Chunxin Jia, 2010. "Executive compensation, supervisory board, and China’s governance reform: a legal approach perspective," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 445-471, November.
  10. Chi, Wei & Zhang, Haiyan, 2010. "Are stronger executive incentives associated with cross-listing? Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 150-160, March.
  11. Luo, Wei & Zhang, Yi & Zhu, Ning, 2011. "Bank ownership and executive perquisites: New evidence from an emerging market," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 352-370, April.
  12. Mohd Azmi Mohd Noor Author_Email: mnmazmi@ tm.com.my & Dr. Faudziah Hanim Bt Fadzil, 2011. "Influence Of Corporate Governance Attributes On Firms’ Financial Performance In Malaysia," Annual Summit on Business and Entrepreneurial Studies (ASBES 2011) Proceeding 2011-039-124, Conference Master Resources.
  13. 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.
  14. Lam, Kevin C.K. & McGuinness, Paul B. & Vieito, João Paulo, 2013. "CEO gender, executive compensation and firm performance in Chinese‐listed enterprises," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1136-1159.
  15. Conyon, Martin J. & He, Lerong, 2011. "Executive compensation and corporate governance in China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 1158-1175, September.
  16. 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.
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