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Corporate governance and firm efficiency: evidence from China's publicly listed firms


  • Chen Lin

    (Department of Economics and Finance, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)

  • Yue Ma
  • Dongwei Su

    (Department of Finance, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China Corrections made here after initial online publication.)


This paper applies a two-stage, double bootstrapping data envelope analysis approach to investigate whether and to what extent various distinctive corporate governance practices affect productive efficiency in a sample of 461 publicly listed manufacturing firms in China between 1999 and 2002. We find that firm efficiency is negatively related to state ownership while positively related to public and employee share ownership. In addition, the relationship between ownership concentration and firm efficiency is U-shaped, indicating the presence of tunneling activities by the largest shareholder. Among three types of controlling shareholder, state exerts the most negative impact on firm efficiency, followed by state-owned legal entities. These results provide strong evidence that political interferences have reduced firm efficiency. It shows that the proportion of outside directors and the number of board meetings are positively associated with firm efficiency, suggesting that board of directors can be an effective internal governance mechanism. Furthermore, provincial market development, a proxy for the strength of external governance mechanism, is positively related to firm efficiency. Overall, our findings illustrate that restructuring state-owned enterprises via improvements in corporate governance has enhanced firm efficiency, but partial privatization without transfer of ownership and control from the state to the public remains a major source of inefficiency in corporate China. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen Lin & Yue Ma & Dongwei Su, 2009. "Corporate governance and firm efficiency: evidence from China's publicly listed firms," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(3), pages 193-209.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:30:y:2009:i:3:p:193-209 DOI: 10.1002/mde.1447

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    Cited by:

    1. Miroslav Nedelchev, 2013. "Good Practices in Corporate Governance: One-Size-Fits-All vs. Comply-or-Explain," International Journal of Business Administration, International Journal of Business Administration, Sciedu Press, vol. 4(6), pages 75-81, November.
    2. Mbuvi, Dorcas & Tarsim, Achraf, 2011. "Managerial ownership and urban water utilities efficiency in Uganda," MERIT Working Papers 036, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    3. Ngo My Tran & Walter Nonneman & Ann Jorissen, 2014. "Government Ownership and Firm Performance: The Case of Vietnam," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 4(3).
    4. Claudia Curi & Justas Gedvilas & Ana Lozano-Vivas, 2016. "Corporate Governance of SOEs and performance in transition countries. Evidence from Lithuania," BEMPS - Bozen Economics & Management Paper Series BEMPS36, Faculty of Economics and Management at the Free University of Bozen.
    5. Esther Wanjugu Gitundu & Sifunjo E. Kisaka & Symon Kibet Kiprop & Lawrence Kangogo Kibet, 2016. "The Effects of Ownership and Corporate Governance Reforms on Efficiency of Privatized Companies in Kenya," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(1), pages 323-331.
    6. Mohammad-Hossein Setayesh & Gholamreza Rezaei & Mostafa Kazemnezhad, 2016. "Corporate Governance, Investment in Research and Development and Company Performance: A Data Envelopment Analysis Approach Based on Data from a Developing Country," International Journal of Economics and Financial Issues, Econjournals, vol. 6(3), pages 1114-1122.
    7. repec:pje:journl:article27winviii is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Tariq, Yasir Bin & Abbas, Zaheer, 2013. "Compliance and multidimensional firm performance: Evaluating the efficacy of rule-based code of corporate governance," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 565-575.
    9. Erming Xu & Hui Yang & J. Quan & Yuan Lu, 2015. "Organizational slack and corporate social performance: Empirical evidence from China’s public firms," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 181-198, March.
    10. Liu, Jia & Lister, Roger & Pang, Dong, 2013. "Corporate evolution following initial public offerings in China: A life-course approach," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 1-20.
    11. Isabel-María García-Sánchez, 2010. "The effectiveness of corporate governance: board structure and business technical efficiency in Spain," Central European Journal of Operations Research, Springer;Slovak Society for Operations Research;Hungarian Operational Research Society;Czech Society for Operations Research;Österr. Gesellschaft für Operations Research (ÖGOR);Slovenian Society Informatika - Section for Operational Research;Croatian Operational Research Society, vol. 18(3), pages 311-339, September.
    12. repec:ehu:cuader:15777 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Tarek Roshdy Gebba, 2015. "Corporate Governance Mechanisms Adopted by UAE National Commercial Banks," Journal of Applied Finance & Banking, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 5(5), pages 1-2.
    14. Choon-Yin Sam, 2013. "Partial privatisation and the role of state owned holding companies in China," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(3), pages 767-789, August.
    15. Zhenzhen Xie & Jiatao Li, 2017. "Selective imitation of compatriot firms: Entry mode decisions of emerging market multinationals in cross-border acquisitions," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 47-68, March.
    16. He, Yan & Chiu, Yung-ho & Zhang, Bin, 2015. "The impact of corporate governance on state-owned and non-state-owned firms efficiency in China," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 252-277.

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