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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. 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.
    3. 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).
    4. Boya Wang, 2016. "Ownership, Institutions & Firm Value: Cross-Provincial Evidence from China," Working Papers wp484, Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Joachim Ahrens & Patrick Jünemann, 2011. "Adaptive Efficiency and Pragmatic Flexibility: Characteristics of Institutional Change in Capitalism, Chinese-style," Chapters,in: Institutional Variety in East Asia, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. 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.
    9. repec:pal:jintbs:v:48:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1057_s41267-017-0083-y is not listed on IDEAS
    10. 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.
    11. repec:bla:pacecr:v:22:y:2017:i:1:p:123-143 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. 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.
    13. Lin, Faqin & Hu, Cui & Fuchs, Andreas, 2016. "How Do Firms Respond to Political Tensions? The Heterogeneity of the Dalai Lama Effect on Trade," Working Papers 0628, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    14. repec:eee:wdevel:v:96:y:2017:i:c:p:591-598 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. 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.
    16. 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.
    17. 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.
    18. Perotti,Enrico C., 2004. "State ownership - a residual role?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3407, The World Bank.

    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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