nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2016‒02‒04
thirteen papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. Any guarantees? : China's rural minimum living standard guarantee program By Golan, Jennifer; Sicular, Terry; Umapathi, Nithin
  2. China as a Global Force By Feng Zhang
  3. The Relationship between Social Capital and Health in China By Xindong Xue; Marshall Mo; W. Robert Reed
  4. Do WTO Rulings Really Matter? Evidence from the Rare Earth Elements Market By Juliane Proelss; Denis Schweizer; Volker Seiler
  5. Beggar thy neighbor or beggar thy domestic firms? evidence from 2000-2011 Chinese customs data By Fatum, Rasmus; Liu, Runjuan; Tong, Jiadong; Xu, Jiayun
  6. How are Foreign Policy Decisions Made in China? By Linda Jakobson and Ryan Manuel
  7. Weather shocks, maize yields and adaptation in rural China By Jean-Francois Maystadt; Ma Jiliang Jiliang
  8. Is it worth issuing bonds in China? Evidence from stock market reactions By Klein, Paul-Olivier; Weill, Laurent
  9. China-Autos: Haven’t We Danced This Dance Before? By Andrew D. Mitchell; Thomas J. Prusa
  10. Northeast Asia's New ‘History Spiral’ By Amy King and Brendan Taylor
  11. Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures in Chinese Agricultural Exports: The Roe of Trade Intermediaries By Gibson, Mark J.; Wang, Qianqian
  12. The implications of liquidity expansion in China for the US dollar By Wensheng Kang; Ronald A. Ratti; Joaquin L. Vespignani
  13. Eciency Snakes and Energy Ladders: A (meta-)frontier demand analysis of electricity consumption eciency in Chinese households By David C Broadstock; Jiajia Li; Dayong Zhang

  1. By: Golan, Jennifer; Sicular, Terry; Umapathi, Nithin
    Abstract: This paper examines China's rural minimum living standard guarantee (dibao) program, one of the largest targeted transfer schemes in the world. Using household survey data matched with published administrative data, the authors provide background on the patterns of inequality and poverty in rural China, describe the dibao program, estimate the program's impact on poverty, and carry out targeting analysis. The authors find that the program provides sufficient income to poor beneficiaries but does not substantially reduce the overall level of poverty, in part because the number of beneficiaries is small relative to the number of poor. Conventional targeting analysis reveals rather large inclusionary and exclusionary targeting errors; propensity score targeting analysis yields smaller but still large targeting errors. Simulations of possible reforms to the dibao program indicate that expanding coverage can potentially yield greater poverty reduction than increasing transfer amounts. In addition, replacing locally diverse dibao lines with a nationally uniform dibao threshold can in theory reduce poverty. The potential gains in poverty reduction, however, depend on the effectiveness of targeting.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Services&Transfers to Poor,Poverty Monitoring&Analysis,Regional Economic Development
    Date: 2014–08–01
  2. By: Feng Zhang
    Abstract: Three foreign policy initiatives under President Xi Jinping over the past three years have considerably enhanced China's global influence: partnership diplomacy, the Silk Road economic diplomacy, and the new financial diplomacy. Partnership diplomacy seeks to forge a global network of partnership countries for China. The Silk Road economic diplomacy is the signature foreign policy proposal of Xi, and in some sense can be seen as the economic pillar of Xi's grand strategy for rejuvenating China on the world stage. Its stated objective is to promote common development between China and Eurasian countries, particularly in the field of infrastructure development. China has also been trying with very skillful and proactive diplomacy to create a new financial order to support the Silk Road project and China's economic diplomacy in general, including, but not limited to, the establishment of the much vaunted Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
    Keywords: Chinese foreign policy;partnership diplomacy;Silk Road economic diplomacy;One Belt–One Road;financial diplomacy
    Date: 2016–02–02
  3. By: Xindong Xue; Marshall Mo; W. Robert Reed (University of Canterbury)
    Abstract: This paper uses the 2005 and 2006 China General Social Survey (CGSS) to study the relationship between social capital and health in China. It is the most comprehensive analysis of this subject to date, both in the sizes of the samples it analyses, in the number of social capital variables it investigates, and in its treatment of endogeneity. We identify social trust, social relationships, and social networks as important determinants of self-reported health. The magnitude of the estimated effects are economically important, in some cases being of the same size or larger than the effects associated with age and income. Our findings suggest that there is scope for social capital to be a significant policy tool for improving health outcomes in China.
    Keywords: Social capital, trust, self-reported health, China, ordered probit regression, heteroskedastic ordered probit regression, interaction effects, endogeneity.
    JEL: I1 I18 P25 O53
    Date: 2016–02–01
  4. By: Juliane Proelss (Concordia University); Denis Schweizer (Concordia University); Volker Seiler (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: Rare earth elements (REEs) have gained increasing attention recently for several key reasons: 1) they are vital to many strategic industries, 2) they are relatively scarce, 3) they frequently exhibit high price fluctuations, 4) China holds a quasi-monopoly on their mining, and 5) China’s REE policy, which was overly restrictive and led to a formal complaint from the U.S., Japan, and the EU at the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2012. This paper investigates whether the announcement of a WTO dispute resolution case can influence governmental changes in existing policies. We find empirical support for this notion, because REE prices exhibit a structural break around the announcement of a WTO dispute, and show lower variance ratios for all tested REEs afterward. This indicates a tendency toward efficiency, although REE prices still do not follow a random walk. Similarly, we find that the stock price informativeness of companies in the REE industry increases after such an announcement, reflecting more firm-specific than marketwide information and less governmental influence. Finally, we show that the model uncertainty for option pricing models decreases, which we measure by the lower pricing differences among them.
    Keywords: Announcement Market Efficiency, Rare Earth Elements, Stock Price Informativeness, Structural Break Tests, Variance Ratio Tests, World Trade Organization (WTO)
    JEL: C22 C58 F13 G14 G18 G28 Q02 Q38
    Date: 2016–01
  5. By: Fatum, Rasmus (University of Alberta); Liu, Runjuan (University of Alberta); Tong, Jiadong (Nankai University); Xu, Jiayun (Tsinghua University)
    Abstract: The premise of beggar-thy-neighbor policies and currency wars is that currency depreciations lead to export growth. This premise, however, is far from validated as the existing economic literature largely either fails to find significant trade flow effects of currency fluctuations or finds that these effects are only minor. We revisit the question of whether currency fluctuations are systematically associated with trade flows using rich and unique firm level Chinese customs data on China-US trade over the 2000 to 2011 period that allows us to consider firm involvement in processing trade and firm dynamics in both export and import markets. Our firm-level based estimation of trade elasticities suggest that the China-US trade balance strongly responds to changes in the CNY/USD rate. This finding is particularly pronounced when we distinguish between ordinary and processing firms. Our results thus suggest that the influence of exchange rates on trade flows is stronger than previously thought and add insights to the policy debate on beggar-thy-neighbor policies and currency wars by, at least in principle, validating the underlying premise of such policies.
    JEL: F14 F31 F41
    Date: 2015–11–01
  6. By: Linda Jakobson and Ryan Manuel
    Abstract: The growing number of actors involved in China's international activities has led to fractured authority in foreign policy decision-making. Actors vie for the attention of senior officials to promote their interests on any specific issue. As a result, decision making is often a slow process; there are multiple channels of information, and actors appeal to public opinion to support their claims. Since 2012, Xi Jinping has taken charge of all foreign policy related decision-making bodies in what appears to be an attempt to improve coordination of interest groups. A slight shift to a more personified foreign policy than during the Hu or Jiang eras has also taken place. In this paper, we describe how foreign policy decisions should be made in China according to formal rules; next, we take into account the reality of how the Chinese political system deals with China's evolving international role. We conclude by assessing the risks of fragmentation, on the one hand, and Xi's efforts to recentralise foreign policy, on the other hand.
    Keywords: Chinese foreign policy, Xi Jinping administration, foreign policy decision-making, Chinese foreign policy actors, Chinese political system, Chinese political fragmentation
    Date: 2016–02–02
  7. By: Jean-Francois Maystadt; Ma Jiliang Jiliang
    Abstract: Based on panel household data collected between 2004 and 2010, we assess the impact of weather shocks on maize yields in the two main producing regions in China, the Northern spring maize zone and the Yellow-Huai Valley summer maize zone. Temperature, drought, wet conditions, and precipitations have detrimental effects on maize yields in the two maize zones. Nonetheless, the magnitude of those effects appears to be low compared to other parts of the world. Adaptation seems to be key in the region where the largest impact is estimated. On the contrary, the lower impact found in the other region, the Yellow-Huai Valley summer maize zone, is low but likely to intensify.
    Keywords: Weather shocks, Adaptation, Maize yield, China
    JEL: I32 Q54
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Klein, Paul-Olivier (BOFIT); Weill, Laurent (BOFIT)
    Abstract: There has been a considerable expansion of corporate bond markets in China in the recent years. The objective of this study is to examine the stock market reaction following bond issuance by Chinese companies. In addition to analyzing for positive or negative reactions to bond issues, we consider the influences of ownership and management characteristics on the stock market reaction. Applying an event-study methodology to a sample of 481 bond issues of 347 Chinese companies over the period 2009–2013, the univariate results show that Chinese bond issues typically generate a positive stock market reaction. The reaction is only significantly positive, however, in the case of central state-owned companies (as opposed to those owned by local or provincial governments). The multivariate results indicate that insider ownership influences stock market reaction to a bond issue, while management characteristics have no discernable impact.
    Keywords: China; emerging markets; corporate bonds; event study
    JEL: G14 P34
    Date: 2015–12–15
  9. By: Andrew D. Mitchell; Thomas J. Prusa
    Abstract: Just as it had in several recent similar disputes, the Panel in China – Autos found several of the challenged issues WTO inconsistent. We believe virtually all of the deficiencies noted by the Panel could be easily addressed with minor changes to MOFCOM practices. The real significance of this dispute lies in what it tell us about the larger trade policy dance between the US and China. On the one hand, with the series of related WTO disputes the US has demonstrated that China must comply with WTO rules. The more vexing challenge, however, is the apparent tit-for-tat motivation for this and other recent Chinese trade policies, and on this point this dispute does little to change the calculus. The prospective nature of WTO relief makes it almost impossible for the WTO to discourage the type of opportunistic protectionist actions exemplified by this case.
    Keywords: MOFCOM, essential facts, price effects, tit-for-tat protection
    Date: 2015–09
  10. By: Amy King and Brendan Taylor
    Abstract: The remembered history of the Second World War continues to infect contemporary relations between China and its Northeast Asian neighbours. This article argues that a ‘history spiral’ has taken hold in Northeast Asia as a result of the region's changing strategic order and domestic politics in China, Japan and South Korea. Using the case studies of the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands territorial dispute, the Dokdo/Takeshima territorial disputes, and Sino-South Korean memorial diplomacy, we explore the interactive spiralling dynamics of Northeast Asia's history problems. We suggest that despite some recent signs of an improvement in Northeast Asian relations since late 2014, the ‘history spiral’ is likely to remain a fixture of Northeast Asia's international politics owing to the region's changing strategic order.
    Keywords: history, memory, Northeast Asia, security, Second World War
    Date: 2016–02–02
  11. By: Gibson, Mark J.; Wang, Qianqian
    Abstract: We study the e§ect of sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures on Chinese agricultural exports and the role of trade intermediaries in this process following Chinaís accession to the World Trade Organization. While agricultural exports and SPS regulations have both grown, the use of trade intermediaries has declined sharply. We develop a model of heterogeneous producer-level decisions about choice of export mode that is consistent with this trend. In our econometric analysis, we analyze the e§ects of SPS measures and trade intermediaries on Chinese fruit and vegetable exports using transaction-level customs data. In contrast to much of the literature, we Önd a positive relationship between SPS measures and exports. The interaction between SPS measures and the use of trade intermediaries is, however, negative, which is also consistent with our model of producersíexport mode decisions.
    Keywords: Chinese agricultural exports, trade intermediaries, SPS measures, Agricultural and Food Policy, International Relations/Trade, F1,
    Date: 2015
  12. By: Wensheng Kang; Ronald A. Ratti; Joaquin L. Vespignani
    Abstract: he value of the US dollar is of major importance to the world economy. Global liquidity has grown sharply in recent years with growing importance of China’s money supply to global liquidity. We develop out-of-sample forecasts of the US dollar exchange rate value using US and non-US global data on inflation, output, interest rates, and liquidity on the US, China and non-US/non-China liquidity. Monetary model forecasts significantly outperform a random walk forecast in terms of MSFE at horizons over 12 to 30 months ahead. A monetary model with sticky prices performs best. Rolling sample analysis indicates changes over time in the influence of variables in forecasting the US dollar. China’s liquidity has a distinct, significant and changing influence on the US dollar exchange rate. Post global financial crisis, increases in the growth rate in China’s M2 forecast a significantly higher value for the US dollar 12 months and 18 months ahead and significantly lower values for the US dollar 24 and 30 months ahead.
    Keywords: China’s liquidity, trade-weighted US dollar, forecasting US dollar exchange rate
    JEL: E41 E51 F31 F41
    Date: 2016–01
  13. By: David C Broadstock (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China and Surrey Energy Economics Centre (SEEC), School of Economics, University of Surrey, UK.); Jiajia Li (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China.); Dayong Zhang (Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, Chengdu, China.)
    Abstract: Policy makers presently lack access to quantified estimates–and hence an explicit understanding–of energy consumption efficiency within households, creating a potential gap between true efficiency levels and the necessarily assumed efficiency levels that policy makers adopt in designing and implementing energy policy. This paper attempts to fill this information gap by empirically quantifying electricity consumption efficiency for a sample of more than 7,000 households. Adopting the recently introduced frontier demand function due to Filippini and Hunt (2011) but extending it into the metafrontier context–to control for structural heterogeneity arising from location type–it is shown that consumption efficiency is little more than 60% on average. This implies huge potential for energy reduction via the expansion of schemes to promote energy efficiency. City households, which are the wealthiest in the sample, are shown to define the metafrontier demand function (and hence have the potential to be the most efficient households), but at the same time exhibit the largest inefficiencies. These facts together allow for a potential refinement on the household energy ladder concept, suggesting that wealth affords access to the best technologies thereby increasing potential energy efficiency (the ‘traditional’ view of the household energy ladder), but complementary to this these same households are most inefficient. This has implications for numerous areas of policy, including for example the design of energy assistance schemes, identification of energy education needs/priorities as well more refined setting of subsidies/tax-credit policies.
    Keywords: Energy consumption efficiency; Frontier demand function; Chinese households.
    JEL: D12 Q41 Q48 R22
    Date: 2015–10

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