Title: Party Power, Markets and Private Power: CCP Persistence in China's Listed Companies
Reference Number: 1038
Publication Date: January 2002
JEL Classifcation:

Sonja Opper
Tübingen University

Sonia Wong
The University of Hong Kong

Ruyin Hu
Shanghai Stock Exchange


Structural changes of the elite have been a particular focus of sociological and economic research since the outset of reforms in the post-communist transition countries. While most studies on elite changes focus on the relative income position as the indicator for the changing position of the old elite, we concentrate on the strength and pattern of decision-making power of China's old elite in newly emerging economic entities like listed companies. In line with the power persistence thesis, our analysis shows that the local party committees still succeed at keeping their fingers in the decision-making process even after two decades of economic transition, due to diverse lock-in effects between party and various areas of the institutional environment. We hypothesize that the decision-making power of the local party committees is weakened by the emergence of market and private power during the economic reform and test our hypothesis by employing a survey conducted by the Shanghai Stock Exchange. This study supplements and broadens evidence to market-transition model and emphasizes private power as the major constraints on local Party power persistence in enterprise decision-making.


Published in Kevin T. Leicht (ed.), The Future of Market Transition (Research in Social Stratification and Mobility Vol. 19), Elsevier Science (UK) 2002, pp. 105-138.

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Last modified: 01/24/2007