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Strengthened State Capitalism: Nationalized Firms in China

Author

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  • Feng, Xunan

    (Shanghai University of Finance and Economics)

  • Johansson , Anders C.

    (Stockholm China Economic Research Institute)

  • Wang, Ying

    (Peking University)

Abstract

We examine the nationalization of listed firms in China. Using a manually collected data set of 115 cases of ownership transfer from private to state control, we find that nationalization is positively associated with firm performance. When we analyze potential mechanisms through which nationalization may affect firm performance, we find a positive effect on benefits in the form of market power, government subsidies and bank financing. We also identify significant costs in the form of a higher tax burden, higher employment costs, and higher levels of corporate donations following nationalization. Finally, we show that weak local institutions exacerbate the influence nationalization has on firm performance and the benefits and costs tied to a shift to state control. These findings shed light on the effects when the government actively takes a more prominent role in the economy by becoming a controlling shareholder in large companies.

Suggested Citation

  • Feng, Xunan & Johansson , Anders C. & Wang, Ying, 2018. "Strengthened State Capitalism: Nationalized Firms in China," Stockholm School of Economics Asia Working Paper Series 2018-51, Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm China Economic Research Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hascer:2018-051
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nationalization; Political economy; Firm performance; Local institutions; China;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions

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