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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

    ()
    (Colgate University)

  • Long, Cheryl

    ()
    (Colgate University)

Abstract

This paper provides evidence on how executive compensation relates to firm performance in listed firms 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 that Chinese executives are penalized for making negative profit although they are neither penalized for declining profit nor rewarded for rising profit insofar as it is positive. Perhaps more importantly, we find that ownership structure of China's listed firms has important effects on pay-performance link in these firms. Specifically state ownership of China's listed firms is weakening pay-performance link for top managers and thus possibly making China's listed firms less effective in solving the agency problem. As such, ownership restructuring may be needed for China to successfully transform its SOEs to efficient modernized corporations and reform its overall economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1767.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Development and Cultural Change, 2006, 54 (4), 945-983
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1767

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Keywords: ownership structure; firm performance; and transition economies; executive compensation; China; corporate governance;

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Li, Shaomin & Selover, David D. & Stein, Michael, 2011. ""Keep silent and make money": Institutional patterns of earnings management in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 369-382, October.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Kato, Takao & Kim, Woochan & Lee, Ju Ho, 2005. "Executive Compensation, Firm Performance, and Chaebols in Korea: Evidence from New Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1783, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Chi, Wei & Zhang, Haiyan, 2008. "Is Cross-listing Associated with Stronger Executive Incentives? Evidence from China," MPRA Paper 11649, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.

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