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The State Advances, the Private Sector Retreats: Firm Effects of China’s Great Stimulus Program

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  • Johansson, Anders C.

    (Stockholm China Economic Research Institute)

  • Feng, Xunan

    (Shanghai University)

Abstract

It has been argued that the Chinese state sector is advancing at the cost of the private sector. Focusing on publicly listed firms which are divided into state- and private-controlled firms, we investigate preferential access to debt and effects on firm performance. Focusing on the large stimulus program launched in the fall of 2008, we show that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) were better able to maintain their leverage levels and had better access to debt of both short and long maturities compared to privately controlled firms. Furthermore, we show that political connections obtained through political participation help mitigate the discrimination private firms faces in a transition economy where the state controls capital allocation. We also find that preferential access to debt financing does not help SOEs improve firm performance relative to that of private firms. Political participation does however help improve private firms’ performance. These results lend support to the argument that the state is indeed advancing at the cost of the private sector and that SOEs still face a broader set of goals than just profit maximization and/or are less efficient than private firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Johansson, Anders C. & Feng, Xunan, 2013. "The State Advances, the Private Sector Retreats: Firm Effects of China’s Great Stimulus Program," Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series 2013-25, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hascer:2013-025
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    3. Li, Jiaming & Li, Yuheng & Zhang, Wenzhong & Yu, Jianhui, 2018. "Imbalanced ownership transformation and land use within an urban area: a case study of Beijing," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 240-247.
    4. Wu, Harry X., 2019. "Towards an Institutional Interpretation of TFP Changes in China," CEI Working Paper Series 2019-4, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    5. Walheer, Barnabé & He, Ming, 2020. "Technical efficiency and technology gap of the manufacturing industry in China: Does firm ownership matter?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
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    9. Helmut K. Anheier & Robert Falkner & Alanna Krolikowski, 2017. "Brittle China? Economic and Political Fragility with Global Implications," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 8(s4), pages 42-53, June.
    10. Anders C. Johansson, 2015. "On the challenge to competitive authoritarianism and political patronage in Malaysia," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 29(2), pages 47-67, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    State-owned enterprises; private enterprises; fiscal and monetary stimulus; firm performance; capital structure; debt financing; political participation; political connections; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out
    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy

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