Parasites and Paragons: Ownership Reform and Concentrated Interest among Minority Shareholders
Journal of Management Studies, 2019
45 Pages Posted: 16 Oct 2019
Date Written: October 7, 2019
Do investors with concentrated shareholding infringe on the value of more-fragmented shareholders ("parasites") or facilitate the growth of firm value for all shareholders ("paragons")? In a major ownership reform of Chinese listed firms, we obtain evidence which suggests that larger minority shareholders undertook certain actions both for a rent-seeking purpose — that these actions allowed them to reap private benefits at the expense of smaller minority shareholders, and for a value-creating purpose — to potentially increase firm value after the reform. It is plausible that both drivers co-existed, but they generated different implications of wealth redistribution. When institutional constraints on rent-seeking were ineffective, higher concentration of minority shares decreased the immediate gains captured by the small investors who held minority shares at the time of the reform, but increased the future value of the firm to be divided among for all investors, large and small, who held firm shares after the reform.
Keywords: China, Concentrated Interests, Corporate Governance, Minority Shareholders, Rent-Seeking
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