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Formal and informal influences of the state on OFDI of hybrid state-owned enterprises in China

Tao Bai, Stephen Chen and Youzong Xu

International Business Review, 2021, vol. 30, issue 5

Abstract: This study investigates how the state influences the outward foreign direct investment (OFDI) of hybrid state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in China. Previous studies have provided conflicting arguments and empirical findings on the internationalization of SOEs, with some studies proposing a positive relationship between state ownership and OFDI, while others propose a negative relationship. In this paper, we argue that the mixed effects are due to different influences of different levels of state ownership and different types of political connections. We investigate our proposed hypotheses based on a sample of publicly listed hybrid Chinese SOEs between 2009 and 2016. We find an S-shaped relationship between state ownership and OFDI such that at low levels of state ownership, OFDI increases as state ownership increases; at medium levels of state ownership, OFDI decreases as state ownership increases; at high levels of state ownership, OFDI increases again as state ownership increases. We further find that executive-branch political connections between boards and top management teams of firms and the government have a negative effect on OFDI, while legislative-branch political connections have no significant effect on OFDI.

Keywords: State-owned enterprises; Foreign direct investment; Top management teams; Board members; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.ibusrev.2021.101864

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