IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Empirical Effects of Performance Contracts: Evidence from China

Listed author(s):
  • Shirley, Mary M
  • Xu, Lixin Colin

Performance contracts (PCs)--contracts signed between the government and state enterprise managers--have been used widely in developing countries. China's experience with such contracts was one of the largest experiments with contracting in the public sector, affecting hundreds of thousands of state firms, and offered a rare opportunity to explore how PCs work. On average, PCs did not improve performance and may have made it worse. But China's PCs were not uniformly bad; in fact, PCs improved productivity in slightly more than half of the participants. PC effects were on average negative because of the large losses associated with poorly designed PCs. Successful PCs were those that featured sensible targets, stronger incentives, longer terms, managerial bonds, and were in more competitive industries. Selecting managers through bidding was not associated with performance improvement. Good PC features were more often observed in state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under the oversight of local governments, that faced more competition, that were smaller in size, and that had better previous performance. Copyright 2001 by Oxford University Press.

To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Journal of Law, Economics and Organization.

Volume (Year): 17 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 (April)
Pages: 168-200

in new window

Handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:17:y:2001:i:1:p:168-200
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK

Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page:

Order Information: Web:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oup:jleorg:v:17:y:2001:i:1:p:168-200. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Oxford University Press)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.