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Weian Li, Jianbo Niu ORCID logo


We try to explore the relation among three factors: the private benefits that main shareholders can obtain from the firm, the social benefits derived from a certain ownership structure and the ownership concentration costs. Different corporations have different optimal governance mechanism. Noticing the substitute relation between the level of the management-and-shareholder-conflicts and the different governance mechanism, we take use of the data from China’ stock market and conduct an empirical analysis on the influence both of the different shareholder’s participating in governance and the ownership structure over corporate performance, and have reached two conclusions. First, in the companies with a higher level of conflicts between the management and the shareholders, the shareholder will be more active in participating in governance because the benefits earned here is much more than the company with a lower level of conflicts. Second, when the other governance mechanisms in one company perform poorly, the shareholder is less active in participating in governance because the extra benefits earned here cannot offset their costs. So only in these companies with poor governance mechanisms, the shareholders’ active monitoring can produce benefits. These conclusions can help our further research on the relationship among the shareholder supervision, ownership structure and corporate value, and we should also re-evaluate some traditional theoretical viewpoints.

Keywords: Participant in Governance, Ownership Structure, Private Benefits, Social Benefits

How to cite this paper: Li, W., & Niu, J. (2007). Private interest and social interest of shareholders: empirical evidence from China. Corporate Ownership & Control, 5(1-2), 254-261.