China's SOE Executives: Drivers of or Obstacles to Reform?

Kjeld Erik Brødsgaard, Paul Hubbard, Guilong Cai, Linlin Zhang

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    Abstract

    Drawing on a database tracking the career of 1,250 top Chinese executives from 1,084 publicly-listed state-owned enterprises (SOEs), this article analyzes differences in career incentives for subsidiaries controlled by the central government compared to those controlled by local governments. It also considers the differences for executives in listed companies close to the parent group compared to those that are heads in distant subsidiaries. We find that in both SOEs and their publicly listed subsidiaries, administrative experience or political connections appear to increase the likelihood of promotion. However, in the case of central SOE subsidiaries, leaders are more likely to be promoted based on financial performance. For both central and local 'direct' SOE groups age is a significant negative factor for promotion, whereas tenure is a significant positive factor.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCopenhagen Journal of Asian Studies
    Volume35
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)52-75
    Number of pages24
    ISSN1395-4199
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • China
    • State-owned enterprises
    • Chinese business executives
    • Career incentives
    • Economic performance
    • Iron triangle

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