From the Grabbing Hand to the Helping Hand

34 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 1999

See all articles by Jiahua Che

Jiahua Che

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Abstract

I present a study of ownership of firms under government rent seeking. Using its control of regulated inputs, a government agency extracts rents from a manager who undertakes an investment. Such a government rent seeking activity leads to a typical hold-up problem. Government ownership is shown to serve as a second best commitment mechanism through which the government agency will restrain itself from the rent seeking activity and even offer the manager support and favor such as tax breaks and subsidies. This mechanism works at a cost because government ownership creates distortion in resource allocation. In contrast to the property rights literature, the analysis shows that government ownership may Pareto dominate private ownership even when the government agency has only unproductive roles in the investment. The analysis corresponds to a host of stylized empirical observations concerning local government-owned firms during China's transition to a market economy. Based on this analysis, I suggest that local government owned firms may be transformed to private ownership as China's input markets become more liberalized.

JEL Classification: G34, L33

Suggested Citation

Che, Jiahua, From the Grabbing Hand to the Helping Hand. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=188152 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.188152

Jiahua Che (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
199
Abstract Views
1,219
rank
185,821
PlumX Metrics