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Politician control, agency problems and ownership reform

Author

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  • Lixin Colin Xu
  • Tian Zhu
  • Yi-min Lin

Abstract

Using data from a recent national survey on the ownership reform of state-owned enterprises in China, we study the effects of reducing politician control and agency problems on a number of reform outcomes. Taking into account the endogenous nature of the reform, we find that these outcome measures of the reform's success are positively affected by the lessening of politician control through increasing the firm's flexibility in labour deployment and by the mitigation of agency costs through the introduction of more effective corporate governance mechanisms such as one-share one-vote and shareholding-based board structure composition. Ownership structure also matters: relative to shareholding by the state, foreign ownership has a positive effect on reform outcomes; individual (mostly employee) shareholding has a negative or insignificant effect. Somewhat surprisingly, operating autonomy (excluding labour deployment flexibility) has a negative effect on firm performance, suggesting serious agency problems in the reformed enterprises. Copyright (c) The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Lixin Colin Xu & Tian Zhu & Yi-min Lin, 2005. "Politician control, agency problems and ownership reform," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(1), pages 1-24, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:etrans:v:13:y:2005:i:1:p:1-24
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    Cited by:

    1. Cull, Robert & Xu, Lixin Colin & Yang, Xi & Zhou, Li-An & Zhu, Tian, 2017. "Market facilitation by local government and firm efficiency: Evidence from China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 460-480.
    2. Dong, Xiao-yuan & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2009. "Labor restructuring in China: Toward a functioning labor market," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 287-305, June.
    3. James S. Ang & David K. Ding & Tiong Yang Thong, 2013. "Political Connection and Firm Value," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 30(2), pages 131-166, September.
    4. Harrison, Ann E. & Lin, Justin Yifu & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2014. "Explaining Africa’s (Dis)advantage," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 59-77.
    5. Teng Lin & Marion Hutchinson & Majella Percy, 2015. "Earnings management and the role of the audit committee: an investigation of the influence of cross-listing and government officials on the audit committee," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 19(1), pages 197-227, February.
    6. Yuping Zeng & Thomas J. Douglas & Changqi Wu, 2013. "The Seller's Perspective on Determinants of Acquisition Likelihood: Insights from China's Beer Industry," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 673-698, June.
    7. Cull, Robert & Li, Wei & Sun, Bo & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2015. "Government connections and financial constraints: Evidence from a large representative sample of Chinese firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 271-294.
    8. Sangeetha Gunasekar & Jayati Sarkar, 2014. "Does autonomy matter in state owned enterprises? Evidence from performance contracts in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-034, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    9. Kato, Takao & Long, Cheryl, 2006. "CEO Turnover, Firm Performance and Enterprise Reform in China: Evidence from New Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1914, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Li, Ke, 2007. "Transaction cost, corporate governance and division of labor--A general equilibrium analysis of professional managers and its implication to China's practice," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 447-468, September.
    11. Jefferson, Gary H. & Su, Jian, 2006. "Privatization and restructuring in China: Evidence from shareholding ownership, 1995-2001," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 146-166, March.
    12. Liang Sun & Chun Liu, 2012. "Capital province, political objectives and the post-IPO policy burden," China Finance Review International, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 2(2), pages 121-142, April.
    13. Huang,Zhangkai & Li,Lixing & Ma,Guangrong & Xu,L. Colin, 2015. "Hayek, local information, and the decentralization of state-owned enterprises in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7321, The World Bank.
    14. Hu, Yifan & OPPER, Sonja & Wong, Sonia M.L., 2006. "Political economy of labor retrenchment: Evidence based on China's state-owned enterprises," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 281-299.
    15. Lindbeck, Assar, 2006. "Economic-Social Interaction during China’s Transition," Working Paper Series 680, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    16. repec:taf:regstd:v:51:y:2017:i:4:p:616-628 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Liu, Xiaojie & Shen, Jim Huangnan & Deng, Kent, 2016. "A rational path towards a Pareto optimum for reforms of large state-owned enterprise in China, past, present and future," Economic History Working Papers 67019, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    18. Shen, Huangnan & Fang, Lei & Deng, Kent, 2017. "Rise of ‘Red Zaibatsu’ in China: entrenchment and expansion of large state-owned enterprises, 1990-2016," Economic History Working Papers 75214, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    19. Daniel Lederman & Taye Mengistae & Lixin Colin Xu, 2013. "Microeconomic consequences and macroeconomic causes of foreign direct investment in southern African economies," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(25), pages 3637-3649, September.
    20. Zhou, Mohan & Lin, Faqin & Li, Tan, 2016. "Remote markets as shelters for local distortions: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 241-253.
    21. Lili Kang & Fei Peng, 2017. "Wage flexibility in the Chinese labour market, 1989–2009," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(4), pages 616-628, April.
    22. repec:cuf:journl:y:2017:v:18:i:1:wang is not listed on IDEAS
    23. Franco OSCULATI & Domenico NICOLÒ & Carlo VERMIGLIO, 2011. "Corporatization in Italian local governments: conceptual framework, issues of financial reporting and empirical evidences," Departmental Working Papers 2011-34, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    24. Pandey, Manish & Dong, Xiao-yuan, 2009. "Manufacturing productivity in China and India: The role of institutional changes," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 754-766, December.
    25. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:271-281 is not listed on IDEAS

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