nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2014‒05‒17
four papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. Nationalism and Economic Exchange: Evidence from Shocks to Sino-Japanese Relations By Raymond Fisman; Yasushi Hamao; Yongxiang Wang
  2. Curriculum and Ideology By Davide Cantoni; Yuyu Chen; David Y. Yang; Noam Yuchtman; Y. Jane Zhang
  3. Corruption in Chinese Privatizations By Raymond Fisman; Yongxiang Wang
  4. Minimum wages and firm employment: evidence from China By Huang, Yi; Loungani, Prakash; Wang, Gewei

  1. By: Raymond Fisman; Yasushi Hamao; Yongxiang Wang
    Abstract: We study the impact of nationalism and interstate frictions on international economic relations by analyzing market reaction to adverse shocks to Sino-Japanese relations in 2005 and 2010. Japanese companies with high China exposure suffer relative declines during each event window; a symmetric effect is observed for Chinese companies with high Japanese exposure. The effect on Japanese companies is more pronounced for those operating in industries dominated by Chinese state-owned enterprises, while firms with high Chinese employment experience lower declines. These results emphasize the role of countries’ economic and political institutions in mediating the impact of interstate frictions on firm-level outcomes.
    JEL: F13 F51 G14 G15
    Date: 2014–05
  2. By: Davide Cantoni; Yuyu Chen; David Y. Yang; Noam Yuchtman; Y. Jane Zhang
    Abstract: We study the causal effect of school curricula on students’ stated beliefs and attitudes. We exploit a major textbook reform in China that was rolled out between 2004 and 2010 with the explicit intention of shaping youths’ ideology. To measure its effect, we present evidence from a novel survey we conducted among 2000 students at Peking University. The sharp, staggered introduction of the new curriculum across provinces allows us to identify the effects of the new educational content in a generalized difference in differences framework. We examine government documents articulating desired consequences of the reform, and identify changes in textbook content and college entrance exams that reflect the government’s aims. These changes were often effective: study under the new curriculum is robustly associated with changed views on political participation and democracy in China, increased trust in government officials, and a more skeptical view of free markets.
    JEL: I20 P00
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Raymond Fisman; Yongxiang Wang
    Abstract: We document evidence of corruption in Chinese state asset sales. These sales involved stakes in partially privatized firms, providing a benchmark – the price of publicly traded shares – to measure underpricing. Underpricing is correlated with deal attributes associated with misgovernance and corruption. Sales by “disguised” owners that misrepresent their state ownership to elude regulatory scrutiny are discounted 5-7 percentage points more than sales by other owners; related party transactions are similarly discounted. Analysis of subsequent operating performance provides suggestive evidence that aggregate ownership transfers improve profitability, though not in cases where the transfers themselves were corrupted.
    JEL: D73 G30 L33
    Date: 2014–05
  4. By: Huang, Yi (The Graduate Institute, Geneva); Loungani, Prakash (International Monetary Fund); Wang, Gewei (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: This paper studies how minimum wage policies affect firm employment in China using a unique county level minimum wage data set matched to disaggregated firm survey data. We investigate both the effect of imposing a minimum wage, and the effect of the policies that tightened enforcement in 2004. We find that the average effect of minimum wage changes is modest and positive, and that there is a detectable effect after enforcement reform. Firms have heterogeneous responses to minimum wage changes which can be accounted for by differences in their wage levels and profit margins: firms with high wages or large profit margin increase employment, while those with low wages or small profit margin downsize. The increase in enforcement of China’s minimum wage in 2004 has since amplified this heterogeneity, which implies that labor regulation may reduce the monopsony rent of firms. Our results provide evidence for the theoretical predictions of the positive minimum wage employment relationship in a monopolistic labor market.
    Keywords: human capital; labor; manufacturing; industry; trade; wages
    JEL: F10 F14 J24 J31 O14 O14
    Date: 2014–04–01

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