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The Ownership School vs. the Management School of State Enterprise Reform: Evidence from China

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  • David D. Li
  • Changqi Wu

Abstract

There are two schools of thoughts on the important issue of reforming state-owned enterprises (SOEs). We call them the ownership school and the management school. The ownership school argues that the key to the reform is to diversify SOEs' ownership, including privatization, in order to eliminate government control of SOEs. The management school emphasizes the need to improve government's management of SOEs by, for example, granting SOE employees autonomy and profit incentives. Utilizing a data set of 680 SOEs in China, covering the period of 1980 to 1994, we test the relative effectiveness of these two kinds of reform measures. This is possible due to the fact that reform measures based on each of these two schools of thoughts were practised in China. Our results yield strong support for the ownership school while leaving very mixed evidence for the management school. Moreover, we find that the impact of ownership diversification was of the same order of magnitude on the economic performance of state enterprises as that of enhancing product market competition.

Suggested Citation

  • David D. Li & Changqi Wu, 2002. "The Ownership School vs. the Management School of State Enterprise Reform: Evidence from China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 435, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-435
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Lin, Justin Yifu & Cai, Fang & Li, Zhou, 1998. "Competition, Policy Burdens, and State-Owned Enterprise Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 422-427, May.
    5. Theodore Groves & Yongmiao Hong & John McMillan & Barry Naughton, 1994. "Autonomy and Incentives in Chinese State Enterprises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 183-209.
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    Cited by:

    1. Unite, Angelo A. & Sullivan, Michael J. & Brookman, Jeffrey & Majadillas, Mary Anne & Taningco, Angelo, 2008. "Executive pay and firm performance in the Philippines," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(5), pages 606-623, November.
    2. Chong-En Bai & Qiao Liu & Joe Lu & Frank Song & Junxi Zhang, 2003. "Corporate Governance and Market Valuation in China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-564, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    3. Ping Yung & Lawrence Wai Chung Lai, 2008. "Supervising for quality: an empirical examination of institutional arrangements in China's construction industry," Construction Management and Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(7), pages 723-737.
    4. Sangeetha Gunasekar & Jayati Sarkar, 2014. "Does autonomy matter in state owned enterprises? Evidence from performance contracts in India," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2014-034, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    State-Owned Enterprise; Privatization; Gradual Privatization; Managerial Reform; Enterprise Restructuring; Managerial Autonomy; and Managerial Incentives;

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