Reforming China’s Stock Market: Institutional Change Chinese Style
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In this article we examine the dual-track pricing system in China's stock market since its inauguration, a legacy of its economic transition and a major source of institutional predation in the market. We then examine the share structure reform initiated in 2005 that sought to eliminate the distortion this predation had elicited. We interpret the reform push as a process of institutional change and focus on the drivers and theoretical explanations of such changes in China's stock market. We thus advance a model for understanding institutional change, Chinese style. We argue that, initially, the institutional arrangement was constructed by the dynamics of transition - the juxtaposition of the Leninist state and the emerging stock market. This provided huge incentives for state corruption in the emerging market. As the market transition proceeded, the societal and political costs of corruption and market distortion also grew, which produced a crisis that eventually attracted the attention of powerful leaders of the party state. We argue from this case that the broader political context in which specific examples of institutional change occur needs to be examined. Specifically, we argue that powerful agents who are external to given institutional environments can play an important role in institutional change, thus highlighting the political dynamics of an authoritarian state amid systemic transition and global integration.
© 2009 Political Studies Association. Published by Wiley-Blackwell. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal website for access to the definitive, published version.
Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific