Das (Wasted) Kapital: Firm Ownership and Investment Efficiency in China
AbstractBased on a survey that we designed and that covers a stratified random sample of 12,400 firms in 120 cities in China with firm-level accounting information for 2002-2004, this paper examines the presence of systematic distortions in capital allocation that result in uneven marginal returns to capital across firm ownership, regions, and sectors. It provides a systematic comparison of investment efficiency among wholly and partially state-owned, wholly and partially foreign-owned, and domestic privately owned firms, conditioning on their sector, location, and size characteristics. It finds that even after a quarter-of-century of reforms, state-owned firms still have significantly lower returns to capital, on average, than domestic private or foreign-owned firms. Similarly, certain regions and sectors have consistently lower returns to capital than other regions and sectors. By our calculation, if China succeeds in allocating its capital more efficiently, it could reduce its capital stock by 8 percent without sacrificing its economic growth (and hence could raise its household consumption and deliver a faster improvement to its citizens' living standard).
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13103.
Date of creation: May 2007
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Capital; Investment; Capacity
- F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
- O1 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-05-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-CNA-2007-05-26 (China)
- NEP-DEV-2007-05-26 (Development)
- NEP-EFF-2007-05-26 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-MAC-2007-05-26 (Macroeconomics)
- NEP-TRA-2007-05-26 (Transition Economics)
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