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Can Two Wrongs Make a Right? State Ownership and Debt in a Transition Economy

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  • Trien Vinh Le
  • Jonathan P. O'Brien

Abstract

Existing literature suggests that both state ownership and debt have detrimental performance consequences in transition economies. Paradoxically, however, we contend that the confluence of these two conditions may not be harmful. By considering the interactions between the governance properties of state ownership and debt, interpreted in light of the institutional context of China (i.e. the interplay between local governments, managers, and central banks), we argue that state ownership and debt can potentially offset each other's detrimental effects. We test our hypotheses with a sample of over 1300 Chinese firms that were listed on the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock exchanges between 2003 and 2005. Results of the tests confirm that while debt and state ownership each have a negative impact on firm performance when used in isolation, their interaction has a positive impact on firm performance. Copyright (c) 2010 The Authors. Journal of Management Studies (c) 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd and Society for the Advancement of Management Studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Trien Vinh Le & Jonathan P. O'Brien, 2010. "Can Two Wrongs Make a Right? State Ownership and Debt in a Transition Economy," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(7), pages 1297-1316, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:47:y:2010:i:7:p:1297-1316
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, Yan & Zhang, Bin, 2013. "基于所有权视角的企业创新理论框架与体系
      [The Theoretical Framework and System of Innovation within Enterprises: Based on the Perspective of Ownership]
      ," MPRA Paper 47078, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:vul:omefvu:v:8:y:2017:i:1:id:218 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. 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.
    4. Mike W. Peng & Garry D. Bruton & Ciprian V. Stan & Yuanyuan Huang, 2016. "Theories of the (state-owned) firm," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 293-317, June.
    5. Hayam Wahba, 2014. "Capital structure, managerial ownership and firm performance: evidence from Egypt," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 18(4), pages 1041-1061, November.
    6. Ruiqi, Wang & Wang, Fangjun & Xu, Luying & Yuan, Changhong, 2017. "R&D expenditures, ultimate ownership and future performance: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 47-54.
    7. Trien Le & Amon Chizema, 2011. "State ownership and firm performance: Evidence from the Chinese listed firms," Organizations and Markets in Emerging Economies, Faculty of Economics, Vilnius University, vol. 2(2).

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