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University of Chicago’s Chang-Tai Hsieh joined for a discussion on state-connected private owners in China. In new research, Hsieh and co-authors use administrative registration data on the universe of Chinese firms from 2000 to 2019 to document the importance of “connected” investors in the growth of Chinese private owners over the last two decades. A key feature of the registration data is that it provides information on the owner of every Chinese firm, which they use to identify firms with “connected” investors defined as state-owned firms or private owners with equity ties to state-owned firms. This ownership information reveals two key facts. First, there is a clear hierarchy of private owners in terms of the closeness of their equity links with state owners. Second, the hierarchy of private owners with connected investors is relatively recent phenomena. The share of registered capital of connected private owners increased by almost 20 percentage points between 2000 and 2019. In the next seminar, Hsieh will be joined by University of Alberta’s Randall Morck for a detailed discussion of these findings and the implications.

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About the Seminar Series

Financial market development goes hand-in-hand with economic growth. The development of China’s capital markets in terms of size, regulations, capability, and efficiency has been impressive. China may now even lead globally in some dimensions, notably e-payments systems. Yet, China’s capital markets are still a work-in-progress facing both generic and unique challenges. Other Asian capital markets have even greater uneven development. Some in advanced Asian economies have acquired globally acclaimed reputation and capabilities while various regulatory and structural weaknesses dwarf others. Corporations and investors have been inclined to arbitrage cross-border regulatory and developmental gaps; so the very uneven status of capital markets across Asia is a policy issue for the governments in the entire region and perhaps globally. Analyzing the positive and negative lessons in the functioning of Asia’s capital markets, and identifying reforms and applications of technology that could further improve Asian capital markets’ allocation efficiency, financial inclusion, and forewarning against reforms that might cause problems can benefit practitioners, policymakers and researchers, and can contribute significantly to overall prosperity.

The ABFER and the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute China (BFI-China), in collaboration with National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF), The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Department of Economics, CUHK-Shenzhen and Tsinghua University PBC School of Finance (Tsinghua PBCSF), hope to provide a virtual network to benefit researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from Asia and beyond.

All times are listed in Central Standard Time. A unique Zoom webinar link will be sent to you two days before the event. 

Session Format

Each session lasts for an hour (30 minutes for the author, 15 minutes for the discussion, 15 minutes for participants’ Q&A).


Wednesday, August 25, 2021
9:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Chang-Tai Hsieh, University of Chicago

Discussant: Randall Morck, University of Alberta