Tuesday, November 6, 2012

WITT Michael A., REDDING Gordon
China: Authoritarian Capitalism
INSEAD Working Paper 2012/108/EPS/EFE

This chapter of The Oxford Handbook of Asian Business Systems provides an overview of the institutional structure of the business system of China. It explores the role of the state, the financial system, ownership and corporate governance, the internal structure of the firm (management), employment relations, education and skills formation, inter-company relations (networks), and social capital. Our analysis suggests a form of authoritarian capitalism, with the Communist Party retaining pervasive influence throughout the system. Within the basic architecture now in place, much institution-building remains to be done, with bottom-up, decentralized processes playing an important role in institutional change. Salient systemic characteristics include informality — deviance of actual practice from formal structures — and multiplexity — the presence of multiple business systems within China. This chapter contributes directly to the business systems and varieties of capitalism literature and identifies institutional contingencies for comparative and international social science research in general.