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Disproportional ownership structure and pay-performance relationship: Evidence from China's listed firms

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  • Cao, Jerry
  • Pan, Xiaofei
  • Tian, Gary

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of ownership structure on executive compensation in China's listed firms. We find that the cash flow rights of ultimate controlling shareholders have a positive effect on the pay-performance relationship, while a divergence between control rights and cash flow rights has a significantly negative effect on the pay-performance relationship. We divide our sample based on ultimate controlling shareholders' type into state owned enterprises (SOE), state assets management bureaus (SAMB), and privately controlled firms. We find that in SOE controlled firms cash flow rights have a significant impact on accounting based pay-performance relationship. In privately controlled firms, cash flow rights affect the market based pay-performance relationship. In SAMB controlled firms, CEO pay bears no relationship with either accounting or market based performance. The evidence suggests that CEO pay is inefficient in firms where the state is the controlling shareholder because it is insensitive to market based performance but consistent with the efforts of controlling shareholders to maximize their private benefit.

Suggested Citation

  • Cao, Jerry & Pan, Xiaofei & Tian, Gary, 2011. "Disproportional ownership structure and pay-performance relationship: Evidence from China's listed firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 541-554, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:17:y:2011:i:3:p:541-554
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    1. Amit, Raphael & Ding, Yuan & Villalonga, Belén & Zhang, Hua, 2015. "The role of institutional development in the prevalence and performance of entrepreneur and family-controlled firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 284-305.
    2. repec:eee:pacfin:v:43:y:2017:i:c:p:55-71 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Ji, Jiao & Talavera, Oleksandr & Yin, Shuxing, 2016. "CEO Dismissal, Compensation and Topics of Board Meetings: The Case of China," MPRA Paper 70232, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Liao, Jing & Malone, Chris & Young, Martin, 2016. "Politicians, insiders and non-tradable share reform decisions in China," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 58-73.
    5. repec:eee:pacfin:v:46:y:2017:i:pa:p:124-140 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cao, Jerry & Liu, Qigui & Tian, Gary G., 2014. "Do venture capitalists play a monitoring role in an emerging market? Evidence from the pay–performance relationship of Chinese entrepreneurial firms," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, pages 121-145.
    7. Goering, Gregory E. & Sarangi, Sudipta, 2012. "Durable goods produced by state owned enterprises," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 893-899.
    8. Chen, Shenglan & Lin, Bingxuan & Lu, Rui & Zhang, Ting, 2015. "Controlling shareholders’ incentives and executive pay-for-performance sensitivity: Evidence from the split share structure reform in China," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 147-160.
    9. Cheng, Minying & Lin, Bingxuan & Wei, Minghai, 2015. "Executive compensation in family firms: The effect of multiple family members," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 238-257.
    10. Simona Catuogno & Sara Saggese & Fabrizia Sarto & Riccardo Viganò, 2016. "Shedding light on the aim of stock options: a literature review," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(2), pages 387-411, June.
    11. 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, pages 235-255.

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