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Grasp the Large, Let Go of the Small: The Transformation of the State Sector in China

Chang-Tai Hsieh and Zheng Song ()

No 21006, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: Starting in the late 1990s, China undertook a dramatic transformation of the large number of firms under state control. Small state-owned firms were privatized or closed. Large state-owned firms were corporatized and merged into large industrial groups under the control of the Chinese state. The state also created many new and large firms. We use detailed firm-level data to show that from 1998 to 2007, (i) state-owned firms that were closed were smaller and had low labor and capital productivity; (ii) the labor productivity of state-owned firms converged to that of private firms; (iii) the capital productivity of state-owned firms remained significantly lower than that of private firms; and (iv) total factor productivity (TFP) growth of state-owned firms was faster than that of private firms. We find the reforms of the state sector were responsible for 20 percent of aggregate TFP growth from 1998 to 2007.

JEL-codes: N15 O0 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-cna, nep-eff and nep-tra
Date: 2015-03
Note: DEV EFG ITI PR
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Published as Chang-Tai Hsieh & Zheng (Michael) Song, 2016. "Grasp the Large, Let Go of the Small: The Transformation of the State Sector in China," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, vol 2015(1), pages 295-366.

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