nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2015‒09‒05
six papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. Does consuming more make you happier? Evidence from Chinese panel data By Wang , Haining; Cheng, Zhiming; Smyth , Russell
  2. Reforming China's Monopolies By Duan, Peijun; Saich, Tony
  3. The impact of vocational schooling on human capital development in developing countries : evidence from China By Loyalka,Prashant Kumar; Huang,Xiaoting; Zhang,Linxiu; Wei,Jianguo; Yi,Hongmei; Song,Yingquan; Shi,Yaojiang; Chu,James
  4. Food Price Bubbles and Government Intervention: Is China Different? By Li, Jian; Li, Chongguang; Chavas, Jean-Paul
  5. The Rise of Shadow Banking in China: The Political Economy of Modern Chinese State Capitalism By Kellee Tsai
  6. Renminbi Internationalization: The Prospects of China’s Yuan as the Next Global Currency By Edwin Lai

  1. By: Wang , Haining (BOFIT); Cheng, Zhiming (BOFIT); Smyth , Russell (BOFIT)
    Abstract: This study examines the relationship between consumption and happiness, using panel data from China Family Panel Studies (CFPS). We find that total consumption expenditure has a significant and positive effect on happiness, but we find no evidence of a non-linear relationship between consumption and happiness. There are heterogeneous effects of consumption on happiness across subsamples and for different types of consumption expendi-ture. We find that relative consumption matters, irrespective if the reference group is defined in terms of consumption at the community or county level or on the basis of age, education and gender. However, the extent to which comparison effects are upward looking, or asymmetric, depend on how the comparison group is defined. We also find that comparison with one’s past consumption has no significant effect on an individual’s happiness.
    Keywords: happiness; consumption; China
    JEL: A13 E21 I31 N35
    Date: 2015–07–24
  2. By: Duan, Peijun (Central Party School, Beijing); Saich, Tony (Harvard University)
    Abstract: This working paper focuses on an aspect of governance that is crucial to the next phase of China's development: reducing state monopolies in order to enhance economic efficiency and promote more equitable growth. It is important to note that monopoly control in the Chinese political economy is not simply an economic phenomenon but also a phenomenon deeply embedded in a comprehensive system of power. Monopolies in the economic sphere (resources, prices, markets, and assets) are serious, but they are derived from the legacy of the centrally planned economy. They are also rooted in the traditional structure of Chinese society and its culture. In this paper, we will present a comprehensive examination of the phenomenon of monopoly control in the Chinese system.
    Date: 2014–05
  3. By: Loyalka,Prashant Kumar; Huang,Xiaoting; Zhang,Linxiu; Wei,Jianguo; Yi,Hongmei; Song,Yingquan; Shi,Yaojiang; Chu,James
    Abstract: A number of developing countries are currently promoting vocational education and training (VET) as a way to build human capital and strengthen economic growth. The primary aim of this study is to understand whether VET at the high school level contributes to human capital development in one of those countries?China. To fulfill this aim, a longitudinal data on more than 10,000 students in vocational high school (in the most popular major, computing) and academic high school from two provinces of China are used. First, estimates from instrumental variables and matching analyses show that attending vocational high school (relative to academic high school) substantially reduces math skills and does not improve computing skills. Second, heterogeneous effect estimates also show that attending vocational high school increases dropout, especially among disadvantaged (low-income or low-ability) students. Third, vertically scaled (equated) baseline and follow-up test scores are used to measure gains in math and computing skills among the students. The results show that students who attend vocational high school experience absolute reductions in math skills. Taken together, the findings suggest that the rapid expansion of vocational schooling as a substitute for academic schooling can have detrimental consequences for building human capital in developing countries such as China.
    Keywords: Education For All,Secondary Education,Tertiary Education,Effective Schools and Teachers,Primary Education
    Date: 2015–08–18
  4. By: Li, Jian (Huazhong Agricultural University and University of WI); Li, Chongguang (Huazhong Agricultural University); Chavas, Jean-Paul (University of WI)
    Abstract: The last decade has witnessed different price trajectories in the international and Chinese agricultural commodity markets. This paper compares and contrasts these dynamic patterns between markets from the perspective of price bubbles. A newly developed right-tailed unit root testing procedure is applied to detect price bubbles in the CBOT and Chinese agricultural futures market during the period 2005-2014. Results show that Chinese markets experienced less prominent speculative bubbles than the international markets for its high self-sufficiency commodities (wheat and corn), but not for low self-sufficiency commodities (soybean). The difference in price behavior is attributed to differences in market intelligence, and to Chinese agricultural policies related to trade as well as domestic government policies. Besides, it discusses challenges to the sustainability of the stable price trajectory in Chinese markets.
    JEL: D84 G12 G13 G14 Q14 Q18
    Date: 2015–06
  5. By: Kellee Tsai (Division of Social Science, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Kellee Tsai, Head & Chair Professor of HKUST's Division of Social Science, explores China’s response to the 2008 global financial crisis, after which time Chinese enterprises both large and small have engaged in unprecedented levels of off-balance sheet activities, which are now estimated to account for an astounding 26-69% of China's total GDP. Prof. Tsai analyses the major sources and scope of China's off-balance sheet lending, offering policy suggestions on how to reduce some of the risks associated with such "shadow banking" activities, such as increasing market access in the services sector and setting up channels for debt issuance by local governments.
    Keywords: China, state capitalism, informal finance, shadow banking, financial development
    JEL: G28 G21 G18 G01
    Date: 2015–08
  6. By: Edwin Lai (Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
    Abstract: Edwin Lai, Professor of Economics at HKUST and IEMS Faculty Associate, analyzes the current and potential use of the renminbi (RMB) as an international currency, and measures that need to be taken before further internationalization can take place. By exploring the determinants of various invoicing currencies around the Asia-Pacific region and beyond, Prof. Lai projects the potential of the RMB to be used for inter-regional trade invoicing in the Asia-Pacific, and compared this to the actual amount of RMB used for invoicing. His most surprising finding is that, as of the most recent trade invoicing data available (2012), only RMB 84 billion is actually used in trade invoicing, whereas conservative estimates of the RMB’s potential indicate that RMB 760 billion should be used for such invoicing. This represents an 89% gap between actual usage and potential usage. Prof. Lai goes on to provide policy recommendations to assuage the large discrepancy between actual and potential RMB usage, and points to a relaxing of state capital controls, allow more convertibility of the RMB, and reform its financial sector much more deeply, amongst other suggestions.
    Keywords: RMB internationalization, Renminbi Internationalization, Yuan Internationalization, Global Currencies, IMF SDR, Inter-regional trade invoicing
    JEL: F31 F33 F36
    Date: 2015–06

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