nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2018‒01‒15
nine papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. Property Rights, Land Misallocation and Agricultural Efficiency in China By A.V. Chari; Elaine Liu; Shing-Yi Wang; Yongxiang Wang
  2. Artificial Administrative Boundaries: Evidence from China By Pei Li, Yi Lu, Tuan-Heww Sng
  3. Exploiting Investors Social Network for Stock Prediction in China's Market By Xi Zhang; Jiawei Shi; Di Wang; Binxing Fang
  4. Severe Air Pollution and School Absences: Longitudinal Data on Expatriates in North China By Liu, Haoming; Salvo, Alberto
  5. Liquidity Constraints, Transition Dynamics, and the Chinese Housing Return Premium By Yu Zhang
  6. Urban Consumption Inequality in China, 1995–2013 By Xia, Qingjie; Li, Shi; Song, Lina
  7. Willingness to Pay for Clean Air in China By Richard Freeman; Wenquan Liang; Ran Song; Christopher Timmins
  8. The Determinants of Virtue: Modelling Changes in the CSR Ratings of Chinese Firms By Wu, Shuangqi; Appleton, Simon; Song, Lina; Wang, Jinmin
  9. Two-child Policy, Gender Income and Fertility Choice In China By Liu, Tao-Xiong; Liu, Jun

  1. By: A.V. Chari (University of Sussex); Elaine Liu (University of Houston); Shing-Yi Wang (University of Pennsylvania); Yongxiang Wang (University of Southern California)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of a property rights reform in rural China that allowed farmers to lease out their land. We find the reform led to increases in land rental activity in rural households. Consistent with a model of transaction costs in land markets, our results indicate that the formalization of leasing rights resulted in a redistribution of land toward more productive farmers. Consequently, the aggregate productivity of land increased significantly. We also find that the reform increased the responsiveness of land allocation across crops to changes in crop prices.
    Keywords: China, land reform
    JEL: Q15
    Date: 2017–12
  2. By: Pei Li, Yi Lu, Tuan-Heww Sng
    Abstract: What happens when subnational boundaries are badly drawn? We use China as a laboratory to investigate the rami cations. As Chinese provincial and long-standing socioeconomic boundaries are not fully aligned, counties of the same province may not share the same regional identity. Using Deng Xiaoping's eco-nomic liberalization campaign in 1991-92 to implement a difference-in-differences, we find that the annual growth differential between non-is located and dislocated counties increased by 3.1 percentage points after Deng's campaign galvanized the provinces to pursue economic expansion. We also uncover evidence of discrimination against the dislocated counties by the provincial authorities.
    Keywords: Artificial borders, Regional Favoritism, Decentralization, China
    JEL: D73 H11 H77 O43
    Date: 2017–09
  3. By: Xi Zhang; Jiawei Shi; Di Wang; Binxing Fang
    Abstract: Recent works have shown that social media platforms are able to influence the trends of stock price movements. However, existing works have majorly focused on the U.S. stock market and lacked attention to certain emerging countries such as China, where retail investors dominate the market. In this regard, as retail investors are prone to be influenced by news or other social media, psychological and behavioral features extracted from social media platforms are thought to well predict stock price movements in the China's market. Recent advances in the investor social network in China enables the extraction of such features from web-scale data. In this paper, on the basis of tweets from Xueqiu, a popular Chinese Twitter-like social platform specialized for investors, we analyze features with regard to collective sentiment and perception on stock relatedness and predict stock price movements by employing nonlinear models. The features of interest prove to be effective in our experiments.
    Date: 2018–01
  4. By: Liu, Haoming (National University of Singapore); Salvo, Alberto (National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: Little is known about how children of high-income expatriate families, often from rich nations, adapt to temporary residence in a severely polluted city of the developing world. We use a six-year panel of 6,500 students at three international schools in a major city in north China to estimate how fluctuation in ambient PM2.5 over the preceding fortnight impacts daily absences. Our preferred estimates are based on the exclusion restriction that absences respond to atmospheric ventilation such as thermal inversions only through ventilation's effect on particle levels. A large and rare 100 to 200 μg/m3 shift in average PM2.5 in the prior week raises the incidence of absences by 1 percentage point, about one-quarter of the sample mean. We find stronger responses for US/Canada nationals than among Chinese nationals, and among students who generally miss school the most. Overall responses are mod-est compared to the effect on absences from more moderate in-sample variation in pollution estimated for the US using aggregate data. Using school absence patterns as a window into short-run health and behavior, our study suggests that high-income families find ways to adapt, likely by moving life indoors, even if temporary residence in north China comes at the expense of long-term health.
    Keywords: environmental valuation, environmental damage, environmental health, atmospheric ventilation, thermal inversions, heterogeneous effects, longitudinal study, acute exposure, PM2.5, particulate matter, air pollution, school absences, avoidance behavior, distributed lags, instrumental variables
    JEL: I18 J24 Q51
    Date: 2017–11
  5. By: Yu Zhang (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Home price movements received increasing academic and public attention in recent years. In this paper, I propose a novel explanation for large housing booms in emerging markets that highlights the effect of household wealth accumulation on housing prices under liquidity constraints, using the recent Chinese housing boom as an example. In China, housing prices grew 170% during 2003–2012 in real terms. Returns on housing commanded a 12% premium annually over the risk-free rate. Across Chinese cities, increases in the value of housing are closely associated with increases in household wealth, whether measured with or without housing. I argue that the high Chinese housing return premium results from an upward transition in household wealth from a low initial condition interacted with liquidity constraints. Specifically, low initial household wealth, under liquidity constraints, limits housing prices to be low in 2003; but as household wealth quickly rises aided by high household savings, housing prices also quickly increase. I quantitatively assess this explanation using an otherwise standard consumption-housing two-asset dynamic portfolio choice model, augmented with realistic liquidity constraints and low initial wealth, with housing priced in industry equilibrium. The model matches the high housing return premium and explains 92% of the observed increase in housing prices. The model also generates other intriguing predictions, including an investment motive that helps explain the high Chinese household saving rate puzzle. It also predicts that a permanent slowdown in Chinese economic growth might only lead to a temporary dip in Chinese housing prices. The analysis in this paper also provides insights for understanding other episodes in emerging housing markets for which there are both liquidity constraints and low initial household wealth.
    Date: 2017
  6. By: Xia, Qingjie (Peking University); Li, Shi (Beijing Normal University); Song, Lina (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We use 1995, 2002 and 2013 CHIP data to investigate the urban household consumption expenditure inequality. The overall inequality of urban household consumption expenditure measured by Gini coefficient slightly decreases from 0.33 in 1995 to 0.32 in 2002, but increases to 0.36 in 2013, which follows the same trend with that of urban income but is severer. However, the percentile ratio of p90/p10 shows that consumption inequality increases all the time. Besides, the inequality of basic food consumption is much smaller than the overall consumption, its contribution to the overall consumption inequality decreases from 20% in 1995 and 2002 to 15% by 2013, and its share also decreases steadily from 34% in 1995 to 30% in 2002 and further to 24% in 2013, and finally its share steadily decreases as the overall consumption level moving up the distribution in each of the three years. The inequality of housing consumption is much larger than overall consumption but decreasing over time, its contribution to the overall consumption inequality increases 35% in earlier two years to 40% by 2013, and its share also sharply increases from 23% in 1995 to 30% in 2002 and further to 38% in 2013, besides its share shows upward sloping as overall consumption level increases in each of the three years.
    Keywords: consumption, household surveys, inequality
    JEL: D3 D63
    Date: 2017–11
  7. By: Richard Freeman; Wenquan Liang; Ran Song; Christopher Timmins
    Abstract: We develop a residential sorting model incorporating migration disutility to recover the implicit value of clean air in China. The model is estimated using China Population Census Data along with PM2.5 satellite data. Our study provides new evidence on the willingness to pay for air quality improvement in developing countries and is the first application of an equilibrium sorting model to the valuation of non-market amenities in China. We employ two novel instrumental variables based on coal-fired electricity generation and wind direction to address the endogeneity of local air pollution. Results suggest important differences between the residential sorting model and a conventional hedonic model, highlighting the role of moving costs and the discreteness of the choice set. Our sorting results indicate that the economic value of air quality improvement associated with a one-unit decline in PM2.5 concentration is up to $8.83 billion for all Chinese households in 2005.
    JEL: Q51 Q53 R23
    Date: 2017–12
  8. By: Wu, Shuangqi (University of Nottingham); Appleton, Simon (University of Nottingham); Song, Lina (University of Nottingham); Wang, Jinmin (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: Most empirical studies on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) use cross-sectional data or case studies, making causality hard to establish. We overcome this limitation by using panel data on Chinese firms. We find no effect of last year's profits on CSR ratings, although their negative contemporaneous relation suggests a trade-off. Managerial shareholdings reduce CSR ratings while rising wages and employment are the main drivers of increasing CSR ratings. This suggests the CSR agenda aligns with the interests of labour, but not capital. However, the positive effect of Tobin's Q may indicate CSR is associated with intangibles of value to a firm.
    Keywords: firms, corporate social responsibility, China
    JEL: M14
    Date: 2017–11
  9. By: Liu, Tao-Xiong; Liu, Jun
    Abstract: We build up a three-period overlapping generation model to explore the effectiveness of fertility policy and the corresponding factors affecting the fertility choices in China. The results show that there is a significant U-shaped relationship between female income and the two-child fertility choice, and a significant positive relationship between male income and the two-child fertility choice, and the relationship between the price of other child care services and the two-child fertility choice is negatively correlated. The analysis of the effectiveness of the current universal two-child policy suggests that there exists a threshold of the fertility policy estimated to be between 1 and 2. Therefore, even if the two-child policy is further relaxed to a three child policy, it will exert little influence on fertility choice. Thus other forms of fertility policy should be combined to improve fertility rate.
    Keywords: two-child policy; male and female income; threshold of the fertility policy
    JEL: J13 J18 J31
    Date: 2017–11

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