IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Ownership structure, corporate governance, and corporate performance : the case of Chinese stock companies

  • Xiaonian Xu
  • Yan Wang

The authors investigate whether ownership structure significantly affects the performance of publicly listed firms in China and if so, in what way. With publicly listed stocks, one can quantify the ownership mix and concentration, which makes it possible to study this issue. The authors use the recent literature on the role of large institutional shareholders in corporate governance as a theoretical base. A typical listed stock company in China has a mixed ownership structure, with three predominant groups of shareholders -the state, legal persons (institutions), and individuals- each holding about 30 percent of the stock. (Employees and foreign investors together hold less than 10 percent.) Ownership is heavily concentrated: the five largest shareholders accounted for 58 percent of outstanding shares in 1995, compared with 57.8 percent in the Czech Republic, 42 percent in Germany, and 33 percent in Japan. Their empirical analysis shows that the mix and concentration of stock ownership do indeed significantly affect a company's performamce: there is a positive, significant correlation between concentration of ownership and profitability; the effect of concentrated ownership is greater with companies dominated by institutions than with those dominated by state; the firms'profitability is positively correlated with the fraction of legal person (institutional) shares; it is either negatively correlated or uncorrelated with the fraction of state shares and with tradable A-shares held mostly by individuals. Labor productivity tends to decline as the proportion of state shares increases.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1794.

in new window

Date of creation: 30 Jun 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1794
Contact details of provider: Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 5554, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Claessens, Stijn, 1997. " Corporate Governance and Equity Prices: Evidence from the Czech and Slovak Republics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(4), pages 1641-58, September.
  3. Groves, Theodore, et al, 1994. "Autonomy and Incentives in Chinese State Enterprises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 183-209, February.
  4. Morck, Randall & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1988. "Management ownership and market valuation : An empirical analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 293-315, January.
  5. Stijn Claesens & Simeon Djankov & Gerhard Pohl, 1997. "Ownership and Corporate Governance : Evidence from the Czech Republic," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11584, The World Bank.
  6. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
  7. Holmstrom, Bengt & Tirole, Jean, 1993. "Market Liquidity and Performance Monitoring," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 678-709, August.
  8. Oliver D. Hart, 1983. "The Market Mechanism as an Incentive Scheme," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 366-382, Autumn.
  9. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-19, March.
  10. Bailey, Warren & Jagtiani, Julapa, 1994. "Foreign ownership restrictions and stock prices in the Thai capital market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 57-87, August.
  11. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1980. "Takeover Bids, the Free-Rider Problem, and the Theory of the Corporation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 11(1), pages 42-64, Spring.
  12. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul & Zechner, Josef, 1994. "Large Shareholder Activism, Risk Sharing, and Financial Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1097-1130, December.
  13. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1986. "Large Shareholders and Corporate Control," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 461-88, June.
  14. Gary Gorton & Frank A. Schmid, 1996. "Universal Banking and the Performance of German Firms," NBER Working Papers 5453, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Martin, Kenneth J & McConnell, John J, 1991. " Corporate Performance, Corporate Takeovers, and Management Turnover," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(2), pages 671-87, June.
  16. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1985. "Credit Markets and the Control of Capital," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(2), pages 133-52, May.
  17. 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 403-52, June.
  18. Douglas Kruse & Joseph Blasi, 1995. "Employee Ownership, Employee Attitudes, and Firm Performance," NBER Working Papers 5277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Groves, Theodore & Yongmiao Hong & John McMillan & Barry Naughton, 1995. "China's Evolving Managerial Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 873-92, August.
  20. McConnell, John J. & Servaes, Henri, 1990. "Additional evidence on equity ownership and corporate value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 595-612, October.
  21. Zou, Liang, 1992. "Ownership structure and efficiency: An incentive mechanism approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 399-431, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1794. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.