Capitalism from Below: Markets and Institutional Change in China (with Victor Nee)

Cambridge, Ma.: Harvard University Press 2012. For information see Capitalism From Below

  1. George R. Terry Award 2013
  2. Gold Medal of the Axiom Business Book Award in the category for International Business and Globalization 2013
  3. Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2012
Go to Reviews

Zwischen Political Governance und Corporate Governance: Eine institutionelle Analyse chinesischer Aktiengesellschaften

Schriftenreihe zur Ostasienforschung (ed. Dieter Cassel, Winfried Flüchter, Thomas Heberer, Günter Heiduk, Carsten Herrmann-Pillath and Werner Pascha), Baden-Baden 2004.

Wirtschaftsreform und Beschäftigungswandel in der VR China

Schriftenreihe zur Ostasienforschung (ed. Dieter Cassel, Winfried Flüchter, Thomas Heberer, Günter Heiduk, Carsten Herrmann-Pillath and Werner Pascha), Bd. 11, Baden-Baden 1999.

Journal Articles:

“Are Entrepreneurial Cultures Stable over Time? Historical Evidence from China” (with Fredrik N.G. Andersson), Asia Pacific Journal of Management. accepted.

“Learning to Trust: From Relational Exchange to Generalized Trust in China” (with Victor Nee and Hakan Holm), Organization Science. accepted.

“More or Less Guanxi: Trust is 60% Network Context, 10% Individual Differences” (with Ronald Burt and Yanjie Bian), Social Networks 54 (July 2018):12-25.

“Early Network Events in the Later Success of Chinese Entrepreneurs“ (with Ronald S. Burt), Management and Organization Review 12(3): 497-537.

“Risk Aversion and Guanxi Activities: A Behavioral Analysis of CEOs in China“ (with Victor Nee and Hakan Holm), Academy of Management Journal 60(4): 1504-1530.

“Endogenous Dynamics of Institutional Change” (with Daniel DellaPosta and Victor Nee), Rationality and Society 29(1): 5-48.

“Lending for Growth? A Granger Causality Analysis of China’s Finance-Growth Nexus” (with Fredrik N.G. Andersson and Katarzyna Burzynska), Empirical Economics 51(3): 897-920.

“Homophily in the Career Mobility of China's Political Elite” (with Victor Nee and Stefan Brehm), Social Science Research, 2015, 54: 332-352.

“Network Effects, Cooperation and Entrepreneurial Innovation in China” (with Victor Nee), Asian Business & Management, 2015, 14(4): 283-302.

“A Matter of Time: Revisiting Growth Convergence in China” (with Fredrik N.G. Andersson and David Edgerton), World Development, 45 (2013):239-251.

“Entrepreneurs under Uncertainty: An Economic Experiment in China” (with Håkan Holm and Victor Nee), Management Science, 59 (2013):1671-1687.

“Sales Maximization or Profit Maximization: How State Shareholders Discipline their CEOs in China” (with Sonia Wong and Yong Yang), Asia-Pacific Journal of Financial Studies 2012, 41(3).

“Political Capital in a Market Economy” (with Victor Nee), Social Forces 2010, 88(5): 2105-2133.

“Entrepreneurial Action: Market Transition, Property Rights, and Innovation” (with Victor Nee and Jeong-han Kang), Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics 2010, 166(3): 397-425.

“Why is Chinese Provincial Output Diverging?” (with Joakim Westerlund and David Edgerton), Journal of Asian Economics, 2010, 21(4):333-345.

“Endogenous Institutional Change and Dynamic Capitalism” (co-authored with Victor Nee). Sociologia del Lavoro 2010, 118: 15-37.

“Bureaucracy and Financial Markets (with Victor Nee)”, Kyklos, 2009, 62(2): 293-315.

“Institutional Analysis of Legal Change: The Case of Corporate Governance in China” (with Sylvia Schwaag-Serger), Journal of Law & Policy, 2008, 26: 245-269.

“Developmental State and Corporate Governance in China (with Victor Nee and Sonia M.L. Wong)”, Management and Organization Review, 2007, 3(1): 19-53.

“Political Economy of Labor Retrenchment: Evidence based on China’s SOEs” (with Yifan Hu and Sonia M.L. Wong), China Economic Review, 2006, 17(3): 281-299.

“The Political Economy of Privatization: Empirical Evidence from Transition Economies”, Kyklos, 2004, 57(4): 559-586.

“Shareholding Structure, De-politicization and Enterprise Performance: Lessons from China’s Listed Companies”, (with Sonia M.L. Wong and Ruyin Hu), Economics of Transition, 2004, 12(1): 29-66.

“Enforcement of China’s Accounting Standards: Reflections on Systemic Problems”, Business and Politics, 2003, 5(2):151-173.

“Party Power, Market and Private Power: CCP Persistence in China´s Listed Companies”, (with Sonia M.L. Wong and Ruyin Hu) in: Leicht, Kevin (ed.), The Future of Market Transition, Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, 2002, 19: 103-136 .

Book Chapters

From Networks to Norms and Economic Institutions (with Victor Nee), Re-Imagining Economic Sociology, edited by Patrik Aspers and Nigel Dodd. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 148-173.

Sociology and the New Institutionalism (with Victor Nee), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by Wright, James D. (ed.), 2nd edition, Elsevier 2015, pp. 979-983.

Markets and Institutional Change in China (with Victor Nee), The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China, Shengen Fan, Ravid Kanbur, Shang-jin Wei and Xiaobo Zhang, Eds. Oxford: Oxford University Press 2014, pp. 267-272.

Bringing Market Transition Theory to the Firm (with Victor Nee) in Work and Organizations in China After Thirty Years of Transition, edited by Lisa A. Keister. Emerald Group Publishing, 2009, pp. 3-34.

New Institutional Economics in Transition & Developing Economies, in New Institutional Economics.
A Guidebook , edited by Jean-Michel Glachant and Eric Brousseau, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2008, pp. 389-405.

Privatization, Encyclopedia of Law and Society, Sage Publications, 2007.

Political Economy of Labor Retrenchment: Evidence based on China’s SOEs (with Yifan Hu and Sonia M.L. Wong), Chapter 5, in Belton Fleisher, Haizheng Li and Shunfang Song (eds.) Market Development in China: Spillovers, Growth and Inequality, Northampton: Edward Elgar Pub. 2007.

On Politicized Capitalism (with Victor Nee), Chapter 4, in Victor Nee/Richard Swedberg (eds.) On Capitalism, Stanford: Stanford University Press 2007, pp. 93-127.

Going Public without the Public: Between Political Governance and Corporate Governance, Chapter 1, in Barbara Krug/Hans Hendrischke (eds.) China in the 21st Century: Economic and Business Behaviour, London: Edward Elgar Pub. 2007, pp. 1-20.

The Power Structure in China’s Listed Companies: The Company Law and its Enforcement (with S.M.L. Wong and Ruyin Hu), China's New Role in the International Community: Challenges and Expectations for the 21st Century, edited by H.D. Assmann and K. Moser v. Filseck, Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2005, pp. 119-148.

Economic Transformation in Post-Communist Societies (with Victor Nee), Jens Beckert and Milan Zafirovski, eds., International Encyclopedia of Economic Sociology, Routledge 2005, pp.200-204.

Inefficient Property Rights and Corruption: The Case of Accounting Fraud in China, Johann Graf Lambsdorff, Matthias Schramm, Markus Taube, eds., Corruption and the New Institutional Economics, Routledge 2004, pp. 198-217.


  • Sonja Opper

Who I am

I am the Gad Rausing Professor of International Economics at the School of Economics and Management at Lund University (Sweden).

My Research

My research focuses on the application of New Institutional Economics on transition and developing countries with a specific focus on China. I am particularly interested in the explanation of patterns of institutional change and the interplay between formal and informal institutions.

Sonja Opper

Gad Rausing Professor of International Economics and Business
    Professorship qualification thesis (Habilitation)
    Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen, July 22, 2003
    Ph.D. in Economics
    Eberhard-Karls-University Tübingen, May 1999
    Dissertation: "Economic Reforms and Employment Change in China", summa cum laude
    M.A. in Economics
    Eberhard-Karls-University, Tübingen, 1995

    New Institutional Economics

    Institutional Change

    Political Economy of Development

    Organization and Management Theory



    Gad Rausing Professor of International Economics (with a focus on China), Lund University, 2005-

    Associate professor (Privatdozentin) at the Economic Faculty of Tübingen University, 2003-2005.

    Assistant professor at the Economic Faculty of Tübingen University, 1999-2003.

    Research assistant at the Economic Faculty of Tübingen University, 1995-1999.


    OMT Best Paper in Entrepreneurship Award, Academy of Management, 2016

    George R. Terry Best Book Award in Management, Academy of Management, 2013

    Gold Medal Axiom Business Book Award in International Business and Globalization, 2013

    Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2012

    Dissertation Award of Excellence, Chamber of Industry and Commerce, 1999


    “The Making of Knowledge-based Metropolitan Economies: IT Start-ups in International Comparison," Marcus and Marianne Wallenberg Foundation, 2014-2016, 6,988k SEK, Principal Investigator.

    “How China Innovates: Interfirm-cooperation in High-risk Environments,” Craafordska Stiftelsen, 2012-2013, 250 SEK, Principal Investigator.

    “Firms and Politicized Capitalism: A Longitudinal Study of China’s Private Enterprise Economy,” Handelsbanken Stiftelsen, 2,000k SEK, 2011-2014, Principal Investigator

    “Political Connections and External Shocks: Evidence from China,” Craafordska Stiftelsen, 250k SEK, 2010, Principal Investigator

    “Comparative Institutional Analysis,” Seed grant of the University of Lund; 3,000k SEK, 2009-2012, Principal Investigator

    “Social Capital and Finance,” Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Science Council), research grant, 2,400k SEK, 2008-2011, Principal Investigator

    VG-Wort; publication grant / publication of professorship qualification thesis, 2004

    Research grant of the German Science Foundation, 2000-2002

    Travel grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), 1996

    Scholarship from the state of Baden-Württemberg, 1996-1997