nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2009‒04‒13
five papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. The Role of the State in China's Industrial Development: a Reassesment By Gabriele, Alberto
  2. What Students of the Global Economy Should Know About Chinese Capital Flows: More Questions Than Answers By Jannett Highfill; Raymond Wojcikewych; Joshua Lewer
  3. Finance-growth Nexus in China: A Channel Decomposition Analysis By Li, Jia
  4. The three waves of the fordist model of growth and the case of China By Valli Vittorio
  5. Supporting the free and competitive market in China and India: differences and evolution over time By Migheli Matteo

  1. By: Gabriele, Alberto
    Abstract: In this paper, we argue that the role of the State (to be understood as a holistic term referring to the public sector as whole), far from being withering out, is in fact massive, dominant, and crucial to China's industrial development. Actually, it has been strengthened by the successful implementation of the "keep the big dump the small" policy, which in turn is consistent with a more general strategy shift towards re-centralization in many areas of economic and social policies. This trend that not only is still going on, but is inevitably bound to be further accelerated by the massive package of fiscal and other interventions made necessary as a response to the world financial and economic crisis. State-owned and state-holding enterprises are now less numerous, but much larger, more capital- and knowledge-intensive, more productive and more profitable than in the late 1990s. Contrary to popular belief, especially since the mid-2000s, their performance in terms of efficiency and profitability compares favourably with that of private enterprises. The state-controlled sub-sector constituted by state-holding enterprises, in particular, with at its core the 149 large conglomerates managed by SASAC, is clearly the most advanced component of China's industry and the one where the bulk of in-house R&D activities take place. The role of the public sector, moreover, goes beyond that of those enterprises which are owned or controlled by the State. In the specific Chinese context, many of the most advanced formally private industrial enterprises are in fact related to the public domain by a web of ownership, financial, and other linkages, to an extent that is qualitatively different and deeper than that of their counterparts in capitalist countries. The role public sector is paramount in engineering an extraordinary boom in S&T and R&D activities (both inside the industrial sector and outside, in universities and research centers), and in fuelling a massive investment drive aimed at enhancing China's infrastructural and human capital environment. These processes also generate major systemic external economies, which are reaped by public and private enterprises alike, contributing to abating their operative costs and to sustain their competitiveness and profitability. Contrary to many other analysts, we do not view the dominant role of the state in China's industry (and, more generally, in China's economy) as a possibly necessary - albeit wasteful - evil, which will be superseded once the transition from a centrally-planned to a fully capitalist modern economy will be completed. We rather see it as a primitive, embryonic, ever-evolving but permanent form of strategic planning aimed at fostering industrial development, and as a key distinctive, structural, and pioneering characteristic of market socialism.
    Keywords: market socialism; China's Economy
    JEL: O16 O21 O14
    Date: 2009–04–05
  2. By: Jannett Highfill (Bradley University); Raymond Wojcikewych (Bradley University); Joshua Lewer (Bradley University)
    Abstract: Many developing economies of the world today have been building up massive foreign exchange reserves of industrialized economies. A clear example of this is China. In February of 2005, China surpassed Japan as the world's largest holder of foreign exchange reserves. After the Asian Contagion period of the late 1990's, this buildup as a whole could be seen as a healthy development. But with an accumulation of over $1.4 trillion in 2007, questions have arisen if China's actual reserves are too large relative to "normal demand." The purpose of this paper is to briefly review both the macroeconomic aspects of China's reserve holdings, and to examine the treatment of the subject in contemporary international economics textbooks.This paper was presented May 22, 2008, at the 18th International Conference of the International Trade and Finance Association, meeting at Universidade Nova de Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal.
    Date: 2008–08–14
  3. By: Li, Jia
    Abstract: This study aims to reassess the finance-growth nexus debate in China, and consequently illustrate the channels through which financial development gives impact on China’s economic growth after 1978. Specifically, this study addresses two channels through which the effects operate, i.e., physical capital accumulation and productivity improvement. The study adopts an approach called channel decomposition which combines the conventional accounting framework and regression analysis. The empirical analysis, using a panel dataset of Chinese provinces between 1980 and 2004, argues that: (1) the relationship between financial development and economic growth in China tends to be a long-run one; (2) the direction of causality between financial development and economic growth has presumably run from the former to the latter in China; (3) the impacts induced by various measures of financial system exert on economic growth are different, and the channels through which they give impact on the growth are different as well; (4) the existence of inter-regional heterogeneity in the context of China’s finance-growth nexus tends to be sensitive to the selection of financial variables.
    Keywords: financial development; economic growth; nexus; channel decomposition
    JEL: C02 E44 C01
    Date: 2009–03–23
  4. By: Valli Vittorio (University of Turin)
    Abstract: The main thesis of the paper is that, while the US economy has widely adopted a fordist model of growth since 1908, and this has largely contributed to the building and consolidation of its economic pre-eminence, Japan and most Western European countries have adopted it mainly in the 1950-1973 period, the golden age of European and Japanese growth, and China has adopted important aspects of fordist and post-fordist models in the 1980-2008 period.. The Chinese case shows that the crucial elements of the fordist model of growth - the economies of scale or of network, the rise of productivity, the increase in wages and in total wage bill, the increase in consumption, in total profits, in investment and in GDP - can give a great boost to industrial and economic growth and then to exports in certain phases of the economic history of a country, although contributing to determine also some socially undesirable consequences, such as rapidly growing economic and social imbalances and income inequalities.
    Date: 2009–04
  5. By: Migheli Matteo
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the support to market competition by Indian and Chinese citizens. In particular I study the individual preferences with respect to some characteristics of a free and competitive market. The paper aims at establishing whether preferences in these countries are different and their evolution over the time. This is an important issue, as the economic literature shows that people’s preferences and policies tend to go hand in hand. This means that the analysis of today’s preferences and of their evolution over the time can be useful to forecast tomorrow’s policies. The main findings of this paper are that Indians and Chinese are different at supporting competition. The Chinese express preferences that are more in line with a free and competitive market, than Indians do. The detected time path reveals that this support has been decreasing over time during the last two decades. The two populations appear to be in favour of a capitalistic, but strictly regulated market. This can mean that the future economic policies of these Asian giants will tend to this direction. Apparently there are no risks for some form of capitalism, but likely the two countries will not adopt completely free and competitive market institutions.
    Date: 2009–03

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