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Rent Seeking and Government Ownership of Firms: An Application to China???s Township-Village Enterprises

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  • Jihua Che

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Abstract

Using its control of regulated inputs, a government agency extracts rents from a manager who undertakes an investment. Such government rent-seeking activity leads to a typical hold-up problem. Government ownership serves as a second-best commitment mechanism, through which the government agency will restrain itself from the rent-seeking activity and may even offer the manager assistance in the form of tax breaks and subsidies. This mechanism works at a cost, however, as government ownership also compromises ex post managerial incentives and creates distortion in resource allocation. Nevertheless, government ownership Pareto dominates private ownership under certain conditions. These conditions correspond to a host of stylized empirical observations concerning local government-owned firms, i.e., township-village enterprises, during China???s transition to a market economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Jihua Che, 2002. "Rent Seeking and Government Ownership of Firms: An Application to China???s Township-Village Enterprises," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 497, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2002-497
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Ahrens, Joachim & Jünemann, Patrick, 2010. "Transitional institutions, institutional complementarities and economic performance in China: A 'Varieties of Capitalism' approach," Discourses in Social Market Economy 2010-11, OrdnungsPolitisches Portal (OPO).
    2. Faqin Lin, 2017. "Credit Constraints, Export Mode and Firm Performance: An Investigation of China's Private Enterprises," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 123-143, February.
    3. Wu, Huiying & Li, Sihai & Ying, Sammy Xiaoyan & Chen, Xuan, 2018. "Politically connected CEOs, firm performance, and CEO pay," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 169-180.
    4. Li, Hongbin & Meng, Lingsheng & Wang, Qian & Zhou, Li-An, 2008. "Political connections, financing and firm performance: Evidence from Chinese private firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 283-299, October.
    5. Shujun Ding & Chunxin Jia & Craig Wilson & Zhenyu Wu, 2015. "Political connections and agency conflicts: the roles of owner and manager political influence on executive compensation," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 407-434, August.
    6. Alexandra Reppegather & Manuela Troschke, 2006. "Graduelle Transformation von Wirtschaftsordnungen: Ein Vergleich der Reformstrategien Chinas und Usbekistans," Working Papers 260, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
    7. Ma, Shuang & Wu, Xi & Gan, Li, 2019. "Credit accessibility, institutional deficiency and entrepreneurship in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 160-175.
    8. Lin, Faqin & Hu, Cui & Fuchs, Andreas, 2019. "How do firms respond to political tensions? The heterogeneity of the Dalai Lama Effect on trade," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 73-93.
    9. Chengrui Xiao, 2020. "Intergovernmental revenue relations, tax enforcement and tax shifting: evidence from China," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 27(1), pages 128-152, February.
    10. Zheng, Lucy & Batuo, Michael Enowbi & Shepherd, David, 2017. "The Impact of Regional and Institutional Factors on Labor Productive Performance—Evidence from the Township and Village Enterprise Sector in China," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 591-598.
    11. James Kai‐sing Kung & Chicheng Ma, 2018. "Friends with Benefits: How Political Connections Help to Sustain Private Enterprise Growth in China," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 85(337), pages 41-74, January.
    12. Boya Wang, 2016. "Ownership, Institutions & Firm Value: Cross-Provincial Evidence from China," Working Papers wp484, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    13. Jiahua Che, 2003. "The Life Cycle of Government Ownership," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-627, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    14. Faqin Lin & Chao Zhang & Lin Wang, 2013. "Vertical Spillover Effects of Multinationals on Chinese Domestic Firms via Supplier–Customer Relationships," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 21(6), pages 37-57, November.
    15. Amon Chizema & Xiaohui Liu & Jiangyong Lu & Lan Gao, 2015. "Politically connected boards and top executive pay in Chinese listed firms," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(6), pages 890-906, June.
    16. Xu, Li & Zhang, Qin & Wang, Keying & Shi, Xunpeng, 2020. "Subsidies, loans, and companies' performance: evidence from China's photovoltaic industry," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 260(C).
    17. Chen, Zhiyuan & Li, Yong & Zhang, Jie, 2016. "The bank–firm relationship: Helping or grabbing?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 385-403.
    18. Joachim Ahrens & Patrick Jünemann, 2011. "Adaptive Efficiency and Pragmatic Flexibility: Characteristics of Institutional Change in Capitalism, Chinese-style," Chapters, in: Werner Pascha & Cornelia Storz & Markus Taube (ed.), Institutional Variety in East Asia, chapter 2, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Ito, Junichi, 2006. "Economic and institutional reform packages and their impact on productivity: A case study of Chinese township and village enterprises," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 167-190, March.
    20. Zhou, Mohan & Lin, Faqin & Li, Tan, 2016. "Remote markets as shelters for local distortions: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 241-253.
    21. Faqin Lin & Can Huang & Xiaobo He & Chao Zhang, 2013. "Do more highly educated entrepreneurs matter?," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 27(2), pages 104-116, November.
    22. Qi Quan & N. Huyghebaert, 2004. "Privatization. Issues at Stake in the Case of China," Review of Business and Economic Literature, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB), Review of Business and Economic Literature, vol. 0(4), pages 647-687.
    23. Perotti,Enrico C., 2004. "State ownership - a residual role?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3407, The World Bank.
    24. Tianjiao Xia & Xiaohui Liu, 2017. "Foreign competition, domestic competition and innovation in Chinese private high-tech new ventures," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 48(6), pages 716-739, August.
    25. Boudewijn Bouckaert, 2007. "Bureaupreneurs in China: we did it our way," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 169-195, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government Rent Seeking; Ownership of Firms; Township and Village Enterprises; China;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • L33 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Comparison of Public and Private Enterprise and Nonprofit Institutions; Privatization; Contracting Out

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