IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/edn/sirdps/240.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does China overinvest? Evidence from a panel of Chinese firms

Author

Listed:
  • Ding, Sai
  • Guariglia, Alessandra
  • Knight, John

Abstract

This paper addresses the hotly-debated question: do Chinese firms overinvest? A firm-level dataset of 100,000 firms over the period of 2000-07 is employed for this purpose. We initially calculate measures of investment efficiency, which is typically negatively associated with overinvestment. Despite wide disparities across various ownership groups, industries and regions, we find that corporate investment in China has become increasingly efficient over time. However, based on direct measures of overinvestment that we subsequently calculate, we find evidence of overinvestment for all types of firms, even in the most efficient and most profitable private sector. We find that the free cash flow hypothesis provides a good explanation for China‟s overinvestment, especially for the private sector, while in the state sector, overinvestment is attributable to the poor screening and monitoring of enterprises by banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding, Sai & Guariglia, Alessandra & Knight, John, 2010. "Does China overinvest? Evidence from a panel of Chinese firms," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-110, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  • Handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:240
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10943/240
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ding, Sai & Guariglia, Alessandra & Knight, John, 2013. "Investment and financing constraints in China: Does working capital management make a difference?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1490-1507.
    2. Guariglia, Alessandra & Liu, Xiaoxuan & Song, Lina, 2011. "Internal finance and growth: Microeconometric evidence on Chinese firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 79-94, September.
    3. David Dollar & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Das (Wasted) Kapital: Firm Ownership and Investment Efficiency in China," NBER Working Papers 13103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Sai Ding & John Knight, 2011. "Why has China Grown So Fast? The Role of Physical and Human Capital Formation," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 73(2), pages 141-174, April.
    5. Wei, Zuobao & Xie, Feixue & Zhang, Shaorong, 2005. "Ownership Structure and Firm Value in China's Privatized Firms: 1991–2001," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(1), pages 87-108, March.
    6. S.K. Bhutani, 2009. "China and India," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 65(4), pages 383-391, October.
    7. Nickell, Stephen & Nicolitsas, Daphne, 1999. "How does financial pressure affect firms?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(8), pages 1435-1456, August.
    8. Arellano, Manuel & Bover, Olympia, 1995. "Another look at the instrumental variable estimation of error-components models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 29-51, July.
    9. Guariglia, Alessandra & Poncet, Sandra, 2008. "Could financial distortions be no impediment to economic growth after all? Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 633-657, December.
    10. Sai Ding & Alessandra Guariglia & John Knight & Junhong Yang, 2021. "Negative Investment in China: Financing Constraints and Restructuring versus Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1411-1449.
    11. Qin, Duo & Song, Haiyan, 2009. "Sources of investment inefficiency: The case of fixed-asset investment in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 94-105, September.
    12. 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.
    13. Guariglia, Alessandra, 2008. "Internal financial constraints, external financial constraints, and investment choice: Evidence from a panel of UK firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1795-1809, September.
    14. Gong, Gang & Lin, Justin Yifu, 2008. "Deflationary expansion: An overshooting perspective to the recent business cycle in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-17, March.
    15. Stephen Bond & Julie Ann Elston & Jacques Mairesse & Benoît Mulkay, 2003. "Financial Factors and Investment in Belgium, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Comparison Using Company Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 153-165, February.
    16. Servaes, Henri, 1994. "Do Takeover Targets Overinvest?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 253-277.
    17. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    18. Xia, Jun & Li, Shaomin & Long, Cheryl, 2009. "The Transformation of Collectively Owned Enterprises and its Outcomes in China, 2001-05," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1651-1662, October.
    19. Becker Bo & Sivadasan Jagadeesh, 2010. "The Effect of Financial Development on the Investment-Cash Flow Relationship: Cross-Country Evidence from Europe," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-49, May.
    20. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    21. Richard Blundell & Stephen Bond & Frank Windmeijer, 2000. "Estimation in dynamic panel data models: improving on the performance of the standard GMM estimator," IFS Working Papers W00/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    22. Firth, Michael & Lin, Chen & Wong, Sonia M.L., 2008. "Leverage and investment under a state-owned bank lending environment: Evidence from China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 642-653, December.
    23. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Yifan, 2012. "Creative accounting or creative destruction? Firm-level productivity growth in Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 339-351.
    24. repec:cup:jfinqa:v:46:y:2011:i:06:p:1831-1863_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Ahn, Seoungpil & Denis, David J. & Denis, Diane K., 2006. "Leverage and investment in diversified firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 317-337, February.
    26. Brown, James R. & Petersen, Bruce C., 2009. "Why has the investment-cash flow sensitivity declined so sharply? Rising R&D and equity market developments," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 971-984, May.
    27. James Riedel & Jing Jin & Jian Gao, 2007. "Overview of Economic Reforms and Outcomes, from How China Grows: Investment, Finance, and Reform," Introductory Chapters, in: How China Grows: Investment, Finance, and Reform, Princeton University Press.
    28. Myers, Stewart C., 1984. "Capital structure puzzle," Working papers 1548-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    29. Stulz, ReneM., 1990. "Managerial discretion and optimal financing policies," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 3-27, July.
    30. Bowsher, Clive G., 2002. "On testing overidentifying restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 211-220, October.
    31. Rawski, Thomas G., 2002. "Will investment behavior constrain China's growth?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 361-372, December.
    32. Toni M. Whited & Guojun Wu, 2006. "Financial Constraints Risk," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 19(2), pages 531-559.
    33. John Knight & Sai Ding, 2008. "Why has China Grown so Fast? The Role of Structural Change," Economics Series Working Papers 415, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    34. Konings, Jozef & Rizov, Marian & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2003. "Investment and financial constraints in transition economies: micro evidence from Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 253-258, February.
    35. Myers, Stewart C, 1984. "The Capital Structure Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(3), pages 575-592, July.
    36. Andrew Benito, 2005. "Financial Pressure, Monetary Policy Effects and Inventories: Firm-level Evidence from a Market-based and a Bank-based Financial System," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 72(286), pages 201-224, May.
    37. Jun, Zhang, 2003. "Investment, investment efficiency, and economic growth in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 713-734, October.
    38. Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643.
    39. Aivazian, Varouj A. & Ge, Ying & Qiu, Jiaping, 2005. "The impact of leverage on firm investment: Canadian evidence," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 277-291, March.
    40. Hendershott, Robert J., 1996. "Which Takeover Targets Overinvest?," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 563-580, December.
    41. Lang, Larry & Ofek, Eli & Stulz, Rene M., 1996. "Leverage, investment, and firm growth," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 3-29, January.
    42. Thomas W. Bates, 2005. "Asset Sales, Investment Opportunities, and the Use of Proceeds," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(1), pages 105-135, February.
    43. Carpenter, Robert E. & Guariglia, Alessandra, 2008. "Cash flow, investment, and investment opportunities: New tests using UK panel data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1894-1906, September.
    44. D'Mello, Ranjan & Miranda, Mercedes, 2010. "Long-term debt and overinvestment agency problem," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 324-335, February.
    45. Shaomin Li, 2004. "The Puzzle of Firm Performance in China: An Institutional Explanation," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 47-68, March.
    46. Stewart C. Myers, 1984. "Capital Structure Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 1393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. John Knight & Sai Ding, 2010. "Why Does China Invest So Much?," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 9(3), pages 87-117, Fall.
    48. Tan, Justin & Li, Shaomin & Xia, Jun, 2007. "When iron fist, visible hand, and invisible hand meet: Firm-level effects of varying institutional environments in China," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 60(7), pages 786-794, July.
    49. Andrew Benito & Ignacio Hernando, 2007. "Firm Behaviour And Financial Pressure: Evidence From Spanish Panel Data," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(4), pages 283-311, October.
    50. Chen, Shimin & Sun, Zheng & Tang, Song & Wu, Donghui, 2011. "Government intervention and investment efficiency: Evidence from China," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 259-271, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Dayong & Cao, Hong & Zou, Peijiang, 2016. "Exuberance in China's renewable energy investment: Rationality, capital structure and implications with firm level evidence," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 468-478.
    2. Li Liu & Gary Gang Tian, 2021. "Mandatory CSR disclosure, monitoring and investment efficiency: evidence from China," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(1), pages 595-644, March.
    3. Khémiri, Wafa & Noubbigh, Hédi, 2020. "Does sub-Saharan Africa overinvest? Evidence from a panel of non-financial firms," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 118-130.
    4. Fang, Debin & Hao, Peng & Yu, Qian & Wang, Jiancheng, 2020. "The impacts of electricity consumption in China's key economic regions," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 267(C).
    5. Bruce Burton & Satish Kumar & Nitesh Pandey, 2020. "Twenty-five years of The European Journal of Finance (EJF): a retrospective analysis," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(18), pages 1817-1841, December.
    6. Francesco Macheda, 2020. "Il ruolo delle imprese a conduzione statale nella lotta della Cina contro il COVID-19 (The role of State-Owned Enterprises in China's fight against the coronavirus disease)," Moneta e Credito, Economia civile, vol. 73(290), pages 111-139.
    7. Tao Gu, 2020. "The behavior of private entrepreneurs in an imperfect financial market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(1), pages 349-358.
    8. Cao, Jerry & Julio, Brandon & Leng, Tiecheng & Zhou, Sili, 2016. "Political Turnover, Ownership, and Corporate Investment," RIEI Working Papers 2016-06, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Research Institute for Economic Integration.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sai Ding & Alessandra Guariglia & John Knight & Junhong Yang, 2021. "Negative Investment in China: Financing Constraints and Restructuring versus Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1411-1449.
    2. Guariglia, Alessandra & Liu, Xiaoxuan & Song, Lina, 2011. "Internal finance and growth: Microeconometric evidence on Chinese firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 79-94, September.
    3. Ding, Sai & Guariglia, Alessandra & Knight, John, 2013. "Investment and financing constraints in China: Does working capital management make a difference?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1490-1507.
    4. Zhang, Dongyang & Liu, Deqiang, 2017. "Determinants of the capital structure of Chinese non-listed enterprises: Is TFP efficient?," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 179-202.
    5. Chen, Minjia & Guariglia, Alessandra, 2013. "Internal financial constraints and firm productivity in China: Do liquidity and export behavior make a difference?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 1123-1140.
    6. Guariglia, Alessandra & Yang, Junhong, 2016. "A balancing act: Managing financial constraints and agency costs to minimize investment inefficiency in the Chinese market," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 111-130.
    7. Minjia Chen & Alessandra Guariglia, 2011. "Financial constraints and firm productivity in China: do liquidity and export behavior make a difference?," Discussion Papers 11/09, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    8. Vijayakumaran, Ratnam, 2021. "Impact of managerial ownership on investment and liquidity constraints: Evidence from Chinese listed companies," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 55(C).
    9. Dongyang Zhang, 2017. "Is working capital management value-enhancing through alleviating financial constraints? Evidence from Chinese non-listed firms," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 373-406, October.
    10. Ning Ding & Kalimullah Bhat & Khalil Jebran, 2020. "Debt choice, growth opportunities and corporate investment: evidence from China," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 6(1), pages 1-22, December.
    11. Spaliara, Marina-Eliza, 2009. "Do financial factors affect the capital-labour ratio? Evidence from UK firm-level data," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1932-1947, October.
    12. Jun Du & Alessandra Guariglia & Alexander Newman, 2015. "Do Social Capital Building Strategies Influence the Financing Behavior of Chinese Private Small and Medium–Sized Enterprises?," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 39(3), pages 601-631, May.
    13. Molinari, Massimo, 2013. "Joint analysis of the non-linear debt–growth nexus and cash-flow sensitivity: New evidence from Italy," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 34-44.
    14. Fátima Herranz González & Carmen Martínez-Carrascal, 2017. "The impact of firms’ financial position on fixed investment and employment. An analysis for Spain," Working Papers 1714, Banco de España.
    15. Cai, Jie & Zhang, Zhe, 2011. "Leverage change, debt overhang, and stock prices," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 391-402, June.
    16. Milos Markovic & Michael A. Stemmer, 2017. "Firm Growth Dynamics and Financial Constraints: Evidence from Serbian Firms," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 17012, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
    17. Carmen Martínez-Carrascal & Annalisa Ferrando, 2008. "The impact of financial position on investment: an analysis for non-financial corporations in the euro area," Working Papers 0820, Banco de España.
    18. Jun Du & Alessandra Guariglia & Alexander Newman, 2010. "Does social capital affect the financing decisions of Chinese small and medium-sized enterprises?," Discussion Papers 10/13, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    19. Danso, Albert & Lartey, Theophilus & Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph & Adomako, Samuel & Lu, Qinye & Uddin, Moshfique, 2019. "Market sentiment and firm investment decision-making," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    20. Chadwick Curtis, 2016. "Economic Reforms and the Evolution of China's Total Factor Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 225-245, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Overinvestment; Investment efficiency; Free cash flow; Debt; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:edn:sirdps:240. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sireeuk.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Research Office (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/sireeuk.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.