Political Connections and Government Subsidies of Companies in Financial Distress: Empirical Evidence from Chinese ST Listed Companies
- 经济学院－已发表论文 
本文以2002-2007年沪深两市的ST公司为样本,实证研究了企业的政治关联对财务困境公司获取政府补助的影响。结果显示:(1)民营企业的政治关联对企业处于财务困境时获取政府补助有显著影响,但对国有企业作用不显著。(2)考虑企业所处的地区环境差异之后,本文发现民营企业的政治关联优势受到地区财政富余程度的显著影响,而地方政府干预要起作用也受到地区财政状况的制约。只有在地方财政有充足财力的情况下,民营企业才可能利用政治关联获得更多的政府补助。(3)从政府补助的效果来看,政府补助虽然可以在救助当年明显改善公司业绩,但对公司长期业绩的提升作用却因企业政治关联程度和企业性质的不同而存在差异:政治关联较弱的民营企业获得的政府补助对公司长期业绩的提高作用显著,但对于国有企业以及具有较强政治关联的民营企业作用则不显著,这在一定程度上说明政治关联导致了政府补助资金的低效运作。 Using the samples of ST companies listed in Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges between 2002 and 2007, we empirically study the influence of the political connections of companies in financial distress on their ability to obtain government subsidies. We have found that: Firstly, when private firms fall into financial distress, their political connections have significant effects on their attainment of government subsidies; but the effects are insignificant for state-owned enterprises. This can be explained by the fact that compared with state-owned enterprises, private firms are at a disadvantage in obtaining government subsidies through normal channels; in this case, private firms will be motivated to take advantage of their executives’ political connections to obtain government subsidies, and the stronger the executives’ political influence, the greater government subsidies will be obtained. Secondly, we also examined the influence of the differences in the regional environment in which private firms operate, finding that the advantages of private firms’ political connections are significantly influenced by the level of fiscal surplus of their respective regions. In provinces with higher levels of regional fiscal surplus, only when local governments have adequate financial resources to support firms in financial distress can these firms take advantage of their executives’ political connections to obtain greater financial subsidies. The local governments’ ability to intervene is subjected to their regional fiscal situation. Only when there are sufficient local fiscal surplus can private firms take advantage of their political connections to attain greater financial subsidies. Thirdly, judging from the results of government subsidies, we have found that although government subsidies can significantly boost firms’ performance in the current year, their effects in enhancing the firms’ performance in the long run vary with the firms’ political connections and the nature of their business: private firms with weak political connections see strong effects of government subsidies on their long-term performance when they are in financial distress; yet, the long-term effects of government subsidies are much weaker for state-owned enterprises and for private firms with strong political connections. This, to a certain degree, indicates that political connections may lead to low operating efficiency of funds from government subsides.