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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

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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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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Zhicheng LIANG & Ping HUA & Sylviane GUILLAUMONT JEANNENEY, 2006. "Financial Development, Economic Efficiency and Productivity Growth: Evidence from China," Working Papers 200625, CERDI.
  3. Li Hao & Daniel Houser & Lei Mao & Marie Claire Villeval, 2014. "A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes Toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness," Working Papers 1047, George Mason University, Interdisciplinary Center for Economic Science.
  4. Castellacci, Fulvio & Zheng, Jinghai, 2010. "Technological regimes, Schumpeterian patterns of innovation and firm level productivity growth," MPRA Paper 27588, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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..
  6. 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.
  7. Hao, Li & Houser, Daniel & Mao, Lei & Villeval, Marie Claire, 2014. "A Field Study of Chinese Migrant Workers' Attitudes toward Risks, Strategic Uncertainty, and Competitiveness," IZA Discussion Papers 8227, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Yan Dong & John Whalley, 2009. "Model Structure and the Combined Welfare and Trade Effects of China's Trade Related Policies," NBER Working Papers 15363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Yamamura, Eiji & Shin, Inyong, 2007. "Dynamics of agglomeration economies and regional industrial structure: The case of the assembly industry of the Greater Tokyo Region, 1960-2000," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 483-499, December.
  10. Simon, György, 2001. "Reform és növekedés Kínában
    [Reform and growth in China]
    ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(7), pages 673-692.
  11. 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.
  12. Zheng, Jinghai & Bigsten, Arne & Hu, Angang, 2006. "Can China’s Growth be Sustained? A Productivity Perspective," Working Papers in Economics 236, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.

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