IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/13774.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Profiting from Government Stakes in a Command Economy: Evidence from Chinese Asset Sales

Author

Listed:
  • Charles Calomiris
  • Raymond Fisman
  • Yongxiang Wang

Abstract

We document the market response to an unexpected announcement of proposed sales of government-owned shares in China. In contrast to the "privatization premium" found in earlier work, we find a negative effect of government ownership on returns at the announcement date and a symmetric positive effect in response to the announced cancellation of the government sell-off. We argue that this results from the absence of a Chinese political transition to accompany economic reforms, so that the positive effects on profits of political ties through government ownership outweigh the potential efficiency costs of government shareholdings. Companies with former government officials in management have positive abnormal returns, suggesting that personal ties can substitute for the benefits of government ownership. The "privatization discount" is higher for firms located in Special Economic Zones, where local government discretionary authority is highest. This is consistent with the view that firms in these locations are more dependent on government connections. We also find that companies with relatively high welfare payments to employees, which presumably would fall with privatization, benefit disproportionately from the privatization announcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Calomiris & Raymond Fisman & Yongxiang Wang, 2008. "Profiting from Government Stakes in a Command Economy: Evidence from Chinese Asset Sales," NBER Working Papers 13774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13774
    Note: CF POL
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w13774.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Narjess Boubakri & Jean-Claude Cosset, 1998. "The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: Evidence from Developing Countries," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(3), pages 1081-1110, June.
    2. Fan, Joseph P.H. & Wong, T.J. & Zhang, Tianyu, 2007. "Politically connected CEOs, corporate governance, and Post-IPO performance of China's newly partially privatized firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 330-357, May.
    3. Chong-En Bai & Jiangyong Lu & Zhigang Tao, 2006. "The Multitask Theory of State Enterprise Reform: Empirical Evidence from China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 353-357, May.
    4. Cull, Robert & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2005. "Institutions, ownership, and finance: the determinants of profit reinvestment among Chinese firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 117-146, July.
    5. Berglof, Erik & Roland, Gerard, 1998. "Soft Budget Constraints and Banking in Transition Economies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 18-40, March.
    6. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
    7. Randall Morck & Daniel Wolfenzon & Bernard Yeung, 2004. "Corporate Governance, Economic Entrenchment and Growth," NBER Working Papers 10692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Khanna, Tarun & Thomas, Catherine, 2009. "Synchronicity and firm interlocks in an emerging market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(2), pages 182-204, May.
    9. Bai, Chong-En & Xu, Lixin Colin, 2005. "Incentives for CEOs with multitasks: Evidence from Chinese state-owned enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 517-539, September.
    10. Qian Sun & Wilson H. S. Tong & Jing Tong, 2002. "How Does Government Ownership Affect Firm Performance? Evidence from China's Privatization Experience," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1&2), pages 1-27.
    11. Paul H. Malatesta & Kathryn L. DeWenter, 2001. "State-Owned and Privately Owned Firms: An Empirical Analysis of Profitability, Leverage, and Labor Intensity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 320-334, March.
    12. Ehrlich, Isaac & Georges Gallais-Hamonno & Zhiqiang Liu & Randall Lutter, 1994. "Productivity Growth and Firm Ownership: An Analytical and Empirical Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 1006-1038, October.
    13. Megginson, William L & Nash, Robert C & van Randenborgh, Matthias, 1994. " The Financial and Operating Performance of Newly Privatized Firms: An International Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 403-452, June.
    14. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
    15. Rafael La Porta & Florencio López-de-Silanes, 1999. "The Benefits of Privatization: Evidence from Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1193-1242.
    16. Nandini Gupta, 2005. "Partial Privatization and Firm Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 987-1015, April.
    17. Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, March.
    18. A. Craig MacKinlay, 1997. "Event Studies in Economics and Finance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 13-39, March.
    19. anonymous, 2007. "China's banking sector," Asia Focus, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    20. Asim Ijaz Khwaja & Atif Mian, 2005. "Do Lenders Favor Politically Connected Firms? Rent Provision in an Emerging Financial Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1371-1411.
    21. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
    22. Wang, Changyun, 2005. "Ownership and operating performance of Chinese IPOs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1835-1856, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:nbr:nberwo:13774. 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: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.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 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.

    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.