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Assessing China's Top-Down Securities Markets

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  • William T. Allen
  • Han Shen

Abstract

China's securities markets are unlike those of Amsterdam, London or New York. Those markets evolved over centuries from myriad interactions among those seeking finance on the one hand and savers seeking rewarding investments on the other. Such spontaneous securities markets did emerge throughout China in the 1980s following the start of economic liberalization, but these spontaneous markets were closed by the government in favor of new and tightly controlled exchanges established in the early 1990s in Shanghai and Shenzhen. These new markets, have been designed to and largely limited to, serving state purposes, that is to assist in the financing of the state sector of the economy. Rather than evolving in a bottom-up pattern, they are controlled, top-down securities markets. This essay reviews as of June 2010, the development of these markets, the economic functions they perform, the regulatory structure that controls and shapes them, and the governance mechanisms - legal and otherwise - that controls the management of the PRC listed companies. These markets represent a signal accomplishment of the Chinese leadership in producing in less than twenty years' modern, albeit not yet fully developed, securities markets. Whether they can be further developed to serve more basic economic role than they have been permitted to play is a question with which the essay concludes.

Suggested Citation

  • William T. Allen & Han Shen, 2011. "Assessing China's Top-Down Securities Markets," NBER Working Papers 16713, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16713
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16713.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Cohen, Alma, 2005. "The costs of entrenched boards," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 409-433, November.
    2. Chen, Gongmeng & Firth, Michael & Gao, Daniel N. & Rui, Oliver M., 2005. "Is China's securities regulatory agency a toothless tiger? Evidence from enforcement actions," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 451-488.
    3. Zhang, Weiying & Cooper, W.W. & Deng, Honghui & Parker, Barnett R. & Ruefli, Timothy W., 2010. "Entrepreneurial talent and economic development in China," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 178-192, December.
    4. Sonia M. L. Wong & Sonja Opper & Ruyin Hu, 2004. "Shareholding structure, depoliticization and firm performance," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(1), pages 29-66, March.
    5. Robert W. Fogel, 2006. "Why China is Likely to Achieve its Growth Objectives," NBER Working Papers 12122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Huang, Yong & Uchida, Konari & Zha, Daolin, 2016. "Market timing of seasoned equity offerings with long regulative process," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 278-294.
    2. Glick, Reuven & Hutchison, Michael, 2013. "China's financial linkages with Asia and the global financial crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 186-206.
    3. Pessarossi, Pierre & Weill, Laurent, 2013. "Choice of corporate debt in China: The role of state ownership," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 1-16.
    4. Fungáčová, Zuzana & Korhonen, Iikka, 2011. "Like China, the Chinese banking sector is in a class of its own," BOFIT Discussion Papers 32/2011, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • K2 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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