nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2018‒07‒30
eleven papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-Cognitive Characteristics in Rural China By Leight, Jessica; Liu, Elaine M.
  2. Importing under trade policy uncertainty: Evidence from China By Michele Imbruno
  3. The Effect of Transportation Benefits on Health and Consumption among the Elderly: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Urban China By YIN Ting; YIN Zhigang; ZHANG Junchao
  4. Did China's anti-corruption campaign affect the risk premium on stocks of global luxury goods firms? By Thomas Nitschka
  5. Requiem for the Interest-Rate Controls in China By Sun, Rongrong
  6. The effect of women directors on innovation activity and performance of corporate firms: Evidence from China By Töpfer, Marina
  7. Capital Scarcity and Industrial Decline: Evidence from 172 Real Estate Booms in China By Harald Hau; Difei Ouyang
  8. Why People Leave Their Rural Hometown:Evidence from 8 Provinces in China By He Zhu
  9. Overcoming the collective action problems facing Chinese workers: lessons from four protests against Walmart By Li, Chunyun; Liu, Mingwei
  10. Managing Trade: Evidence from China and the US By Nick Bloom; Kalina B. Manova; John Van Reenen; Stephen Teng Sun; Zhihong Yu
  11. The Regional Innovation System in China: Regional comparison of technology, venture financing, and human capital focusing on Shenzhen By MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki

  1. By: Leight, Jessica (American University); Liu, Elaine M. (University of Houston)
    Abstract: The importance of non-cognitive skills in determining long-term human capital and labor market outcomes is widely acknowledged, but relatively little is known about how educational investments by parents may respond to children’s non-cognitive characteristics. This paper evaluates the parental response to non-cognitive variation across siblings in rural Gansu province, China, employing a household fixed effects specification; the non-cognitive measures of interest are defined as the inverse of both externalizing challenges (behavioral problems and aggression) and internalizing challenges (anxiety and withdrawal). The results suggest that there is significant heterogeneity with respect to maternal education. More educated mothers appear to compensate for differences between their children, investing more in a child who exhibits greater non-cognitive deficits, while less educated mothers reinforce these differences. Most importantly, there is evidence that these compensatory investments are associated with the narrowing of non-cognitive deficits over time for children of more educated mothers, while there is no comparable pattern in households with less educated mothers.
    Keywords: non-cognitive characteristics, parental investment, intrahousehold allocation
    JEL: I24 O15 D13
    Date: 2018–06
  2. By: Michele Imbruno (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - Clermont Auvergne - UCA - Université Clermont Auvergne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: This paper empirically explores imports' adjustment to reductions in trade policy uncertainty (TPU) considering that firms may face large sunk costs to purchase foreign goods. We investigate how product-level Chinese imports react to tariff binding connected to China's accession to WTO, through distinguishing both country-related margins and firm-related margins. Our main results suggest that a decline in TPU allows the access to a greater variety of foreign goods, associated also with a higher quality. At the same time, tariff binding leads more Chinese producers and trade intermediaries to start importing, allowing more firms and consumers to enjoy potential gains from imports. Finally, we document heterogeneous TPU effects across firms with different ownership, and products with different end use, revealing interesting insights in a context of global value chains.
    Keywords: Trade policy uncertainty, Import behaviour, World Trade Organization, Tariff binding, China
    Date: 2018–06–26
  3. By: YIN Ting; YIN Zhigang; ZHANG Junchao
    Abstract: This study estimates the causal effect of transportation subsidies or similar benefits on the health of elderly people. We exploit a discontinuity in the probability of receiving transportation benefits induced by an age-based policy to take into account the endogeneity of treatment status. Our baseline IV results indicate that receiving public transportation benefits significantly improves elderly people's health condition by approximately 10 percentage points. The results are robust under different specifications and placebo tests. Further tests on possible channels show that the health effect is driven by increasing food consumption and health care utilization, but not by the amount of exercise done.
    Date: 2018–06
  4. By: Thomas Nitschka
    Abstract: Media reports suggest that the recent Chinese anti-corruption campaign adversely influenced business prospects of globally operating luxury goods firms. This paper empirically tests this hypothesis. This paper finds that risk-adjusted returns on stock portfolios consisting of luxury goods firms with high exposure to China shifted persistently downward around the launch of the anti-corruption campaign. Risk-adjusted returns tend to co-vary with the intensity of the campaign. The evidence suggests that the Chinese anti-corruption campaign constituted negative cash-flow news about the affected global luxury goods firms. These findings neither pertain to luxury goods firms with low exposure to China nor to firms from other industries.
    Keywords: Asset pricing, financial markets, political risk
    JEL: G15 G18
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Sun, Rongrong
    Abstract: This paper reviews the retail interest-rate-control deregulation in China over the 1993-2015 period and provides a preliminary assessment of the PBC's replacement monetary framework. I show that the interest-rate controls triggered the development of deposit substitutes that banks used to circumvent the restrictions, which in turn drove deposits out of commercial banks.This gave rise to concerns about deterioration of bank profits and build-up of financial frangibility, which have pushed up the PBC's deregulation acceleration over the post-2012 period. I quantify the distortionary effects of these controls: disintermediation, a rising shadow banking system and financial repression. Despite the official lift-off of the controls, the retail interest rates are still subject to the PBC’s window guidance and other pricing mechanism guidance. The interest-rate corridor does not function well in confining money market rates. This suggests that the PBC adopt a target money market rate system.
    Keywords: interest-rate control, deregulation, China, financial repression, interest-rate corridor
    JEL: E52 E58
    Date: 2018–06
  6. By: Töpfer, Marina
    Abstract: This paper elaborates whether women bringing their diversity, cross-cultural awareness and transformational leadership skills to corporate boards offer strategic advantages for firms. In the analysis the effect of women in the board room on innovation activity and corporate firm performance as well as the joint consequences of female directors and innovation activity on the firm's success are examined. The latter may be particularly important in the context of gender diversity as more gender-diverse boards allow for higher levels of creativity and hence innovation. In order to account for endogeneity issues, different model specifications are employed (two-way fixed effects models and linear dynamic panel data models). Unconditional quantile regressions are used in order to go beyond the mean. The analysis is conducted using Chinese firm-level data from 2006-2015. The results suggest positive effects of gender diversity in corporate boards and patenting activities on firm performance. Women directors are found to have statistically significant effects on both input-(positive) and output-oriented (negative) innovation activity.
    Keywords: Women Directors,Innovation Activity,Firm Performance,Gender-diverse Boards,Unconditional Quantile Regression
    JEL: G30 J16
    Date: 2018
  7. By: Harald Hau (University of Geneva, Swiss Finance Institute, Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), and CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)); Difei Ouyang (University of Geneva)
    Abstract: In geographically segmented credit markets, local real estate booms can divert capital away from manufacturing firms, create capital scarcity, increase local real interest rates, lower real wages, and cause underinvestment and relative decline in the industrial sector. Using exogenous variation in the administrative land supply across 172 Chinese cities, we show that the predicted variation in real estate prices does indeed cause substantially higher capital costs for manufactoring firms, reduce their bank lending, lower their capital intensity and labor productivity, weaken firms’ financial performance, and reduce their TFP growth by economically significant magnitudes. This evidence highlights macroeconomic stability concerns associated with real estate booms.
    Keywords: Factor price externalities, reverse Balassa-Samuelson-effect, firm growth
    JEL: D22 D24 R31
    Date: 2018–05
  8. By: He Zhu (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This paper aim to clarify what motivate people to migrate from rural to urban area in China. The focus of most previous studies of migration are restricted to the wage gap between the origin and destination. However, this study uses the RUMiC (2008) data set that has individual characteristics of migrants and stayers, combined with China Statistical Yearbook data, to explore the decision making process on China’s rural to urban migration. This research provides empirical evidence that migration is a joint decision-making process characterized by the choices of migration and destination. The results also show that the living condition in hometowns pushes people to migrate. For example, the probability of moving decreases by 25% if the consumption of the rural area increases by 20% ( 10,000 RMB).
    Keywords: Internal migration mobility, Decision making, Industry, Nested logistic model
    JEL: J61
    Date: 2018–07
  9. By: Li, Chunyun; Liu, Mingwei
    Abstract: In contrast to various structural accounts of collective inaction or short-lived contention of Chinese workers, the authors take an agency-centered approach to explain how the few sustained labor protests during closure bargaining develop against long odds. They suggest that workers’ capacity to resolve collective action problems is essential to understanding why a few contending workers are able to sustain protests whereas many others fail to do so. They argue that workplace representatives and external labor activists are crucial for helping Chinese workers resolve the collective action problems that prevent the formation of sustained labor protests. Their comparative analysis of four protests against Walmart store closures—including one unusually long, one relatively sustained, and two short-lived—shows how presence and strategic capacity of workplace representatives and external labor activists shape protest duration. The authors conclude by discussing lessons learned from these cases of closure bargaining for future development of labor contention in China.
    Keywords: workplace representatives; collective bargaining; labor NGOs; sustain protest; strategic capacity
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2018–06–18
  10. By: Nick Bloom; Kalina B. Manova; John Van Reenen; Stephen Teng Sun; Zhihong Yu
    Abstract: We present a heterogeneous-firm model in which management ability increases both pro- duction efficiency and product quality. Combining six micro-datasets on management prac- tices, production and trade in Chinese and American firms, we find broad support for the model’s predictions. First, better managed firms are more likely to export, sell more products to more destination countries, and earn higher export revenues and profits. Second, better managed exporters have higher prices, higher quality, and lower quality-adjusted prices. Finally, they also use a wider range of inputs, higher quality and more expensive inputs, and imported inputs from more advanced countries. The structural estimates indicate that management is important for improving production efficiency and product quality in both countries, but it matters more in China than in the US, especially for product quality. Panel analysis for the US and a randomized control trial in India suggest that management exerts causal effects on product quality, production efficiency, and exports. Poor management practices may thus hinder trade and growth, especially in developing countries.
    Keywords: management, exports, product quality, productivity
    JEL: F10 F14 F23 L20 O19 O32
    Date: 2018
  11. By: MOTOHASHI Kazuyuki
    Abstract: Shenzhen has become a hot spot of innovation in China. In this paper, we characterize Shenzhen's innovation by comparing it with that of Beijing and Shanghai using patent and venture investment data. First, the role of universities and public research institutions is small in Shenzhen's innovation system as compared to Beijing and Shanghai. In contrast, private high-tech firms, such as Huawei, ZTE, and Tencent, are leading the innovation scene in Shenzhen. Second, we find that high-tech start-ups are geographically concentrated in the Nanshan district, particularly Yuehai Jiedao, where national-level high-tech zones are located. Recently, the number of start-ups has been increasing, and local, big firms, such as ZTE, are providing the human resources for such start-up firms. Third, inventor-disambiguated information based on patent data allows us to look at interorganizational talent movements. We find that such movements tend to occur within short distances, such as within the same district (e.g., Nanshan district). To sum up, Shenzhen has truly become a hot spot of high-tech entrepreneurship and innovation, but the dynamics are very much regionally bound. Therefore, it is important to become a local player in order to take advantage of innovation movements in Shenzhen by means of minority investment by corporate venture capital into local start-up firms.
    Date: 2018–07

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