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The productivity effects of decentralized reforms - an analysis of the Chinese industrial reforms, Volume 1
Author:Lixin Colin Xu; Country:China;
Date Stored:1997/02/01Document Date:1997/02/28
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Environmental Economics & Policies; Economic Theory & Research; Banks & Banking Reform; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; Labor Policies; Municipal Financial Management; Public Health Promotion
Language:EnglishMajor Sector:Public Administration, Law, and Justice
Region:East Asia and PacificReport Number:WPS1723
Sub Sectors:DecentralizationCollection Title:Policy, Research working paper ; no. WPS 1723
Volume No:1  

Summary: The empirical literature on the effects of ownership has not distinguished between the effects of ownership and the effects of control. It has also generally ignored the dynamic effects of various ownership and control rights. Using a rich set of panel data about changes in China's state-owned enterprises, the author examines the static and dynamic effects of decentralizing ownership and control rights. He finds that productivity and growth rates improved significantly when reform improved the incentives for managers and employees to learn and to work hard - for example by decentralizing the rights to control wages, make production decisions, and appoint new managers. Increasing profit-retention rates and adopting performance contracts - conventionally viewed as the most important reforms for China's state enterprises - did not improve productivity much. Overall, decentralization accounted for a least 42 percent of productivity growth in Chinese state enterprises in the 1980s. Much of that gain came from improvements in the growth rate of productivity rather than in improved levels of productivity.

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