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Government expropriation and Chinese-style firm diversification

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  • Du, Julan
  • Lu, Yi
  • Tao, Zhigang

Abstract

Firm diversification across unrelated businesses is prevalent in many emerging economies, in contrast to the practices in developed economies. A fundamental difference between these two types of economies concerns with the existence of sound economic institutions including in particular the institutions constraining government expropriation of private properties. In this paper, using a survey data set of private enterprises in China, we find that severer government expropriation in the form of higher informal levies, extralegal payments, and entertainment fees causes firms to diversify. We then provide two case studies to highlight the extra costs that China’s private entrepreneurs need to bear for doing businesses, and how they can subsequently leverage their relations with government bureaucrats to diversify into various businesses.

Suggested Citation

  • Du, Julan & Lu, Yi & Tao, Zhigang, 2015. "Government expropriation and Chinese-style firm diversification," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 155-169.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:43:y:2015:i:1:p:155-169
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2014.07.003
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:50-66 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:bla:etrans:v:25:y:2017:i:3:p:495-525 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dong, Zhiqiang & Wei, Xiahai & Zhang, Yongjing, 2016. "The allocation of entrepreneurial efforts in a rent-seeking society: Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 353-371.
    4. repec:eee:jbrese:v:87:y:2018:i:c:p:46-57 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government expropriation; Economic institutions; Firm diversification; China’s private enterprises;

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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