Administrative Governance as Corporate Governance: A Partial Explanation for the Growth of China’s Stock Markets

This Note argues that during the first decade of stock market development (roughly 1990-2000) Chinese institutions, which emphasized administrative direction and control, functioned in lieu of legal and financial institutions. Preexisting modes of administrative governance introduced incentives that mitigated information asymmetry problems inherent in initial public offerings (IPOs) and contributed to enhanced market valuation during the post-IPO phase. The author focuses on two sui generis Chinese institutions employed during this time period: the quota system for equity share issuance and the Special Treatment (ST) system for underperforming issuers. In short, the thesis is that administrative governance substituted for corporate governance.