Methods to Estimate Ownership Structure: A Literature Review
The structure of China’s basic economic system and the course of the strategic adjustment to ownership were staged and described in the last chapter using the data of the industrial enterprises above designated size. Benefits were evident to use the data of the industrial enterprises as they were continuous, available through many years and thus capable of outlining the adjustment course with simple and direct evidence. However, problems of the data were also evident as one, only enterprises of industries, but not any other field, were included, and two, only those above designated size were covered in the data and large quantities of middle-, small- and tiny-sized enterprises were not included. In fact, the ownership adjustment in the recent years, especially the resulting strategic retraction of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), were mostly restricted to industries and productive fields, and a majority of non-publicly-owned enterprises have stayed medium, small and even tiny in size. Therefore, estimation on the ownership structure based on only the industrial data and further employment of the estimation to illustrate the whole picture of the basic economic system would result in underestimation of the share of public ownership in terms of field coverage and, at the same time, overestimation of the share of public ownership and underestimation of that of non-public ownership in terms of size coverage. Apparently, the limitations of the industrial data would lead to inaccurate description of the economic system. In addition, with an increasingly diversified ownership structure, particularly with the emergence of mixed ownership, controversy has appeared on estimations of the public and non-public sectors in many aspects, not only of data usage, but also of coverage, parameters, indicators and methods. To sum it up, the controversy is manifested in the following areas.