Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Shu-min Huang

Second Advisor

Willis J. Goudy


By employing an institutional perspective, this study analyzes industrial reform in the People's Republic of China (PRC), particularly the reform of state-enterprise relations since 1978. By viewing institutional reform as a process of changing rules and procedures governing both state-enterprise relations and micro-economic organizational behavior, the study gives a detailed account of the evolutionary process of the PRC's industrial reform and of the continuities and discontinuities that this reform has involved. Using Kornai's theoretical framework, particularly the concepts of paternalism and soft budget constraints, phenomena seen as symptomatic of the syndromes described by Kornai were analyzed through governmental documents, state-enterprise contracts, and statistical data. This study argues that the emerging mode of governance in China's industrial economy is characterized by what Kornai termed dual dependence. Under such a condition, the PRC's state-enterprise relations are characterized by the persistence of paternalism and soft budget constraints;By using a multilevel analysis statistical technique, this study demonstrates the institutional effects of the state-imposed price structure and argues that, without a decisive change in the ownership system and synchronized price reform, it will be impossible for the PRC to escape the dilemmas of such dependence.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Xiao-jia Ge



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

176 pages