Institutional Development, State Ownership and Corporate Cash Holdings: Evidence from China

Yuanto KUSNADI, Singapore Management University
Z Yang
Y Zhou


This study examines how institutional development and state ownership influence corporate cash holdings among Chinese firms. The empirical results reveal that firms in provinces with more developed institutions (non-state-controlled firms) hold more (less) cash reserves than those in provinces with less developed institutions (state-controlled firms). Moreover, the positive effect between institutional development and cash holdings is more prominent for non-state-controlled firms. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that more developed institutions mitigate the threat of political extraction for non-state-controlled firms, resulting in larger cash holdings among these firms. Subsequent analyses demonstrate that the impact of institutional development on cash holdings is weakened for non-state-controlled firms which have established political connections. Therefore, this study identifies one vital channel through which political connections are beneficial for non-state-controlled firms in terms of mitigating the threat of political extraction.