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Qualityresponsibilityin China

April 7, 2016

Regulation bureau, firm, consumer and consumer organization are all the indispensable parts of a complete quality and safety responsibility system. However, the supervision responsibility of government gets more and more attention from mass media and the people. The data from the macro-quality observation of the IQDS reveals that Chinese consumers possess a negative attitude to the quality and safety responsibility of Chinese government, which deviated from the genuine source of product quality risk. Moreover, the within difference of consumer groups, factors like sexuality, education and family expenditure, will deteriorate their evaluation of government responsibility. In conclusion, targeted policy is needed to alter the erroneous judgments of those consumers, especially for female consumers, undergraduate students and consumers worked in government and public institutions.


Government involvement is needed to regulate the quality and safety issues under asymmetrical information, which is a common view among scholars. Economists analyze the joint usage of government regulation and responsibility statutes, also, the domain and mode of government regulation are defined. However, those scholars discovered the government failure resulted from overregulation in quality and safety regulation, and theoretical and empirical analysis is given to explain this paradox. Although there are two sides of government’s quality and safety regulation, it is still the necessary method to cure the market failure in quality and safety governance. Nonetheless, informational regulation, incentiveregulatory policies and self-enforcing regulation are required to overcome its drawbacks.


Despite the fact that enterprise should be responsible for the occurrences of China’s quality and safety crisis, consumers and mass media paid much more attention on the responsibility and accountability on regulation bureaus, which contributes the trend of over-accountability after those quality and safety issues. Moreover, over-accountability drives the regulation bureau adopts more and more provisional method to cope with producers, which result in the overregulation of enterprises’ production behavior and the irresponsible inclination of producers. Finally, this chain reaction brings about more quality accidents and even server over-accountability, and this vicious cycle should be coped with balanced regulation policies.


The quality and safety responsibility deficiency of enterprises is the internal factor of the crisis of product quality occurred in China; however, one of the important reason of the firms’ responsibility deficiency is overregulation of government. The overregulation behaviors of those regulating bureaus lead to the incompatibility of responsibility mechanism in the market and degrade the impetus of firms to carry on their responsibility. The empirical analysis of product quality regulation process testified this supposition. The present responsibility system and mechanism should be rebuilt to restore the equilibrium.


The defects of the present incentive and constraint mechanisms in the enterprise’s quality and safety responsibility system lead to the failure of provision of quality products in China. Comparing to advanced nations, the defects lies in the government’s incentive policies, punitive constraint, consumer education and supervision role of consumer organizations. Then, referred from the experience of those countries, our regulation bureaus should build sound incentive and constraint mechanism to restore the balance of firms’ quality and safety responsibility system.