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Family Ties and Organizational Design: Evidence from Chinese Private Firms

  • Hongbin Cai

    (Peking University)

  • Hongbin Li

    (Tsinghua University)

  • Albert Park

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Li-An Zhou

    (Peking University)

Analyzing data from a unique survey of managers of Chinese private firms, we investigate how family ties with firm heads affect managerial compensation and job assignment. We find that family managers earn higher salaries and receive more bonuses, hold higher positions, and are given more decision rights and job responsibilities than nonfamily managers in the same firm. However, family managers face weaker incentives than professional managers, as seen in the lower sensitivity of their bonuses to firm performance. Our findings are consistent with the predictions of a principal-agent model that incorporates family trust and endogenous job assignment decisions. © 2013 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/REST_a_00268
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 850-867

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:95:y:2013:i:3:p:850-867
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  1. Nicholas Bloom & Christos Genakos & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2011. "Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEP Discussion Papers dp1109, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Li, Hongbin & Meng, Lingsheng & Wang, Qian & Zhou, Li-An, 2008. "Political connections, financing and firm performance: Evidence from Chinese private firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 283-299, October.
  3. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
  4. Ilias, Nauman, 2006. "Families and firms: Agency costs and labor market imperfections in Sialkot's surgical industry," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 329-349, August.
  5. Kato, Takao & Long, Cheryl, 2005. "Executive Compensation, Firm Performance, and Corporate Governance in China: Evidence from Firms Listed in the Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges," IZA Discussion Papers 1767, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Liu, Deqiang & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2004. "A Comparison of Management Incentives, Abilities, and Efficiency between SOEs and TVEs: The Case of the Iron and Steel Industry in China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(4), pages 759-80, July.
  7. Armin Falk & David Huffman & Gert Wagner & Jurgen Schupp & Thomas Dohmen & Uwe Sunde, 2005. "Individual risk attitudes: New evidence from a large, representative, experimentally-validated survey," Framed Field Experiments 00140, The Field Experiments Website.
  8. Bhattacharya, Utpal & Ravikumar, B, 2001. "Capital Markets and the Evolution of Family Businesses," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(2), pages 187-219, April.
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