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Product market competition, state-ownership, corporate governance and firm performance

Research paper by Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between firm performance and product market competition (PMC), and then examine the mitigation effect of corporate governance and/or state-ownership (SOEs) in the association between PMC and firm performance using Chinese listed firms. Design/methodology/approach The authors consider three determinants of the PMC that affect the nature of competition, and use market concentration, product substitutability and market size as proxies for PMC. The authors construct a corporate governance index which measures the extent of board independence, monitoring strength of supervisory board over board of directors, and monitoring strength of board of directors over CEO. The authors use Tobin’s Q as a proxy for firm performance. The authors use a sample of 20, 706 firm-year observations listed on the Chinese stock market between 2001 and 2016

Indexed on: 02 Mar '18Published on: 02 Jan '18Published in: Asian Review of Accounting



Abstract

Asian Review of Accounting, Volume 26, Issue 1, Page 62-83, February 2018. Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between firm performance and product market competition (PMC), and then examine the mitigation effect of corporate governance and/or state-ownership (SOEs) in the association between PMC and firm performance using Chinese listed firms. Design/methodology/approach The authors consider three determinants of the PMC that affect the nature of competition, and use market concentration, product substitutability and market size as proxies for PMC. The authors construct a corporate governance index which measures the extent of board independence, monitoring strength of supervisory board over board of directors, and monitoring strength of board of directors over CEO. The authors use Tobin’s Q as a proxy for firm performance. The authors use a sample of 20,706 firm-year observations listed on the Chinese stock market between 2001 and 2016 to empirically investigate the research questions proposed in the paper. Findings The authors find that higher PMC is associated with lower firm performance. The authors find that good corporate governance practices moderate the negative effect of higher PMC on firm performance. The association between higher PMC and lower performance is weaker for firms controlled by SOEs compared to non-SOEs. Further, the moderation effect of SOEs on the association between higher PMC and lower performance is more pronounced for firms with good corporate governance practices compared to firms with weak corporate governance practices. Originality/value Extant studies investigating the relationship between PMC and corporate governance suggest an either complementary or substitution relationship in developed economies. Our study highlights the interactive role played by SOEs and good corporate governance practices in firm performance in highly competitive product markets in an emerging economy. The findings provide insightful information to regulators of other emerging countries that SOEs with good corporate governance practices can play an important role in the economy by mitigating the negative effect of higher PMC on firm performance.