This paper seeks to reconcile and synthesize the diverse views about the township-village enterprises (TVEs) and local corporatism in the context of ongoing institutional changes in China as a transition economy. Specifically, I attempt to integrate the economic, political, cultural, and social explanations for TVEs, especially the two competing views of market competition and political corruption. I focus on the puzzle of TVE efficiency as well as the paradox of local corporatism as a government-business partnership with both a positive function of public alliance for wealth creation and a negative function of private collusion for wealth transfer. I argue that the key to both the puzzle of TVEs and the paradox of local corporatism lies in China’s dual-track reform paradigm (i.e. a market-for-mass track and a state-for-elite track). Lastly, I discuss the critical implications for theory building and policymaking regarding economic transition in general.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management