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Efficiency, Technical Progress, and Best Practice in Chinese State Enterprises (1980-1994)

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Author Info

  • Zheng, Jinghai

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Liu, Xiaxuan

    (Institute of Economics)

  • Bigsten, Arne

    (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

Abstract

In spite of rapid economic growth and swift structural change during the last two decades, China’s industrial reform is far from complete, especially with regard to state enterprises (SOEs). Although troubled with huge financial losses, heavy debt, and substantial over-staffing, SOEs will continue to play a crucial part in the government policy to maintain social stability and economic growth in China. This study, based on samples of about 700 state enterprises during 1980-94, investigates productivity performance of the SOEs using Data Envelopment Analysis and Malmquist Index. Our empirical results show that average technical efficiency had been low among the sample SOEs. Considerable productivity growth was found, but it was mainly accomplished through technical progress rather than efficiency improvement. Regression analyses indicate that wage incentives and education had positive impacts on productivity growth, while large scale was an important determinant of whether an SOE was applying best practice technology. It is also shown that large SOEs were more likely to generate technical progress. These findings are consistent with the industrial structural adjustment program initiated by the government in 1994, which has focused on improving productive efficiency via redundancies and technology upgrading, and on building its best SOEs into conglomerates.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 30.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 27 Sep 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Comparative Economics, 1998, pages 465-484.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0030

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg, Box 640, SE 405 30 GÖTEBORG, Sweden
Phone: 031-773 10 00
Web page: http://www.handels.gu.se/econ/
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Keywords: Efficiency; productivity; technical progress; state enterprises; reform;

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  1. Xiao-yuan Dong & Louis Putterman, 2001. "On the Emergence of Labour Redundancy in China's State Industry: Findings from a 1980-1994 Data Panel," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(2), pages 111-128, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Fulvio Castellacci & Jinghai Zheng, 2010. "Technological regimes, Schumpeterian patterns of innovation and firm-level productivity growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1829-1865, December.
  2. Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY & PING HUA & ZHICHENG LIANG, 2006. "Financial Development, Economic Efficiency, And Productivity Growth: Evidence From China," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 44(1), pages 27-52.
  3. Zheng, Jinghai & Bigsten, Arne & Hu, Angang, 2009. "Can China's Growth be Sustained? A Productivity Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 874-888, April.
  4. Deqiang Liu & Yanyun Zhao, 2006. "Ownership, Foreign Investment and Productivity--A Case Study of the Automotive Industry in China," Microeconomics Working Papers 21892, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  5. Halkos, George Emmanuel & Tzeremes, Nickolaos G., 2007. "Productivity efficiency and firm size: An empirical analysis of foreign owned companies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 713-731, December.
  6. Yuk-Shing Cheng & Dic Lo, 2004. "Firm Size, Technical Efficiency and Productivity Growth in Chinese Industry," Working Papers 144, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
  7. Dong Yan & Whalley John, 2011. "Model Structure and the Combined Welfare and Trade Effects of China's Trade Related Policies," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 10(4), pages 1-21, January.
  8. Sebastián Claro, 2005. "How Uncompetitive is the State-Owned Industrial Sector in China," Documentos de Trabajo 305, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
  9. Anwar, Sajid & Sun, Sizhong, 2012. "Trade liberalisation, market competition and wage inequality in China's manufacturing sector," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 1268-1277.
  10. Watanabe, Michio & Tanaka, Katsuya, 2007. "Efficiency analysis of Chinese industry: A directional distance function approach," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 6323-6331, December.

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