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State Capitalism vs. Private Enterprise

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  • Alexander Ljungqvist
  • Donghua Chen
  • Dequan Jiang
  • Haitian Lu
  • Mingming Zhou

Abstract

We study the efficiency of capital allocations at state-controlled and privately owned business groups in China. Using highly granular data on within-group capital transfers, we document stark differences: while private groups allocate more capital to units with better investment opportunities, state groups do the opposite, especially when part of the “national team.” Minority shareholders in state owned enterprises suffer as a result. External monitoring by outside investors helps discipline state groups’ tendency to ignore investment opportunities. We trace capital allocation decisions to the objectives of the Chinese Communist Party, which incentivizes managers to maintain social stability. Consistent with the party’s policy preferences, capital allocations are used to prop up struggling employers in high-unemployment areas and when many young men enter the local labor market, but the interests of the party and of managers may be misaligned.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Ljungqvist & Donghua Chen & Dequan Jiang & Haitian Lu & Mingming Zhou, 2015. "State Capitalism vs. Private Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 20930, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20930
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    Cited by:

    1. Clemens Fuest & Li Liu, 2015. "Does Ownership Affect the Impact of Taxes on Firm Behavior? Evidence from China," CESifo Working Paper Series 5316, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Giacinta Cestone & Chiara Fumagalli & Francis Kramaz & Giovanni Pica, 2015. "Insurance Between Firms: The Role of Internal Labor Markets," CSEF Working Papers 386, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 15 Feb 2017.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G15 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - International Financial Markets
    • G31 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Capital Budgeting; Fixed Investment and Inventory Studies
    • 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
    • P1 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions

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