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The helping hand, the lazy hand, or the grabbing hand? Central vs. local government shareholders in publicly listed firms in China


  • Cheung, Yan-Leung
  • Rau, P. Raghavendra
  • Aris, Stouraitis


We analyze related party transactions between Chinese publicly listed firms and their stateowned enterprise (SOEs) shareholders to examine whether companies benefit from the presence of government shareholders and politically connected directors appointed by the government. We find that related party transactions between firms and their government shareholders seem to result in expropriation of the minority shareholders in firms controlled by local government SOEs or with a large proportion of local government affiliated directors on their board, and in provinces where local government bureaucrats are less likely to be prosecuted for misappropriation of state funds. On the other hand, firms controlled by the central government (or with a large proportion of central government affiliated directors) are benefited in their related party transactions with their central government SOEs.

Suggested Citation

  • Cheung, Yan-Leung & Rau, P. Raghavendra & Aris, Stouraitis, 2008. "The helping hand, the lazy hand, or the grabbing hand? Central vs. local government shareholders in publicly listed firms in China," CEI Working Paper Series 2008-11, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hitcei:2008-11 Note: February 2008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Knight*, Brian, 2007. "Are policy platforms capitalized into equity prices? Evidence from the Bush/Gore 2000 Presidential Election," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1-2), pages 389-409, February.
    2. Frye, Timothy & Shleifer, Andrei, 1997. "The Invisible Hand and the Grabbing Hand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 354-358, May.
    3. Thomas Ferguson & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2008. "Betting on Hitler—The Value of Political Connections in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 101-137.
    4. Jayachandran, Seema, 2006. "The Jeffords Effect," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 397-425, October.
    5. Cheung, Yan-Leung & Rau, P. Raghavendra & Stouraitis, Aris, 2006. "Tunneling, propping, and expropriation: evidence from connected party transactions in Hong Kong," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 343-386, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ding, Mingfa, 2014. "Political Connections and Stock Liquidity: Political Network, Hierarchy and Intervention," Knut Wicksell Working Paper Series 2014/7, Lund University, Knut Wicksell Centre for Financial Studies.

    More about this item


    Law and economics; Government ownership; China; State-Owned Enterprises (SOE); Related party transactions; Political connections;

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • K33 - Law and Economics - - Other Substantive Areas of Law - - - International Law

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