nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2019‒09‒09
nine papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. Do Private Household Transfers to the Elderly Respond to Public Pension Benefits? Evidence from Rural China By Nikolov, Plamen; Adelman, Alan
  2. The Unintended Impacts of Agricultural Fires: Human Capital in China By Joshua S. Graff Zivin; Tong Liu; Yingquan Song; Qu Tang; Peng Zhang
  3. The Effect of Financial Inclusion on Household Welfare in China By Mallick, Debdulal; Zhang, Quanda
  4. Belt and Road Initiative and Chinese Firms’ Outward Foreign Direct Investment By Shu Yu; Xingwang Qian; Taoxiong Liu
  5. From insurgency to movement: an embryonic counterhegemonic labor movement in South China By Li, Chunyun
  6. China's Monetary Policy and the Loan Market: How Strong is the Credit Channel in China? By Max Breitenlechner; Riikka Nuutilainen
  7. Housing Prices, Inter-generational Co-residence, and “Excess” Savings by the Young: Evidence using Chinese Data By Mark Rosenzweig; Junsen Zhang
  8. Do Pension Benefits Accelerate Cognitive Decline? Evidence from Rural China By Nikolov, Plamen; Adelman, Alan
  9. CO2 mitigation model for China's residential building sector By Minda Ma; Weiguang Cai

  1. By: Nikolov, Plamen (State University of New York); Adelman, Alan (State University of New York)
    Abstract: Aging populations in developing countries have spurred the introduction of public pension programs to preserve the standard of living for the elderly. The often-overlooked mechanism of intergenerational transfers, however, can dampen these intended policy effects, as adult children who make income contributions to their parents could adjust their behavior in response to changes in their parents' income. Exploiting a unique policy intervention in China, we examine using a difference-in-difference-in-differences (DDD) approach how a new pension program impacts inter vivos transfers. We show that pension benefits lower the propensity of adult children to transfer income to elderly parents in the context of a large middle-income country, and we also estimate a small crowd-out effect. Taken together, these estimates fit the pattern of previous research in high-income countries, although our estimates of the crowd-out effect are significantly smaller than previous studies in both middle- and high-income countries.
    Keywords: middle-income countries, inter vivos transfers, pension, retirement, life cycle, developing countries, China, crowd-out effect, aging
    JEL: D64 O15 O16 J14 J22 H55 R2
    Date: 2019–08
  2. By: Joshua S. Graff Zivin; Tong Liu; Yingquan Song; Qu Tang; Peng Zhang
    Abstract: The practice of burning agricultural waste is ubiquitous around the world, yet the external human capital costs from those fires have been underexplored. Using data from the National College Entrance Examination (NCEE) and agricultural fires detected by high-resolution satellites in China during 2005 to 2011, this paper investigates the impacts of fires on cognitive performance. To address the endogeneity of agricultural fires, we differentiate upwind fires from downwind fires. We find that a one-standard-deviation increase in the difference between upwind and downwind fires during the exam decreases the total exam score by 1.42 percent of a standard deviation (or 0.6 point), and further decreases the probability of getting into first-tier universities by 0.51 percent of a standard deviation.
    JEL: I20 I30 J20 O53 Q10 Q53
    Date: 2019–08
  3. By: Mallick, Debdulal; Zhang, Quanda
    Abstract: Financial inclusion is one of the key factors contributing to household welfare. We explore this effect in China utilizing a unique household survey panel data. Financial inclusion is measured by owning a transaction account at formal financial institutions. We employ an innovative method of heteroscedasticity-based identification recently developed by Klein and Vella (2009a; 2010) to identify the causal effect of financial inclusion. We find that welfare effects of financial inclusion varied across urban and rural areas and income groups. Financial inclusion significantly increased overall consumption, but the impact was greater among urban than rural households. The effect was stronger in the case of food consumption. Financial inclusion also decreased consumption inequality but only among urban households. The uneven effect of financial inclusion across level of urbanization and commodity types have important policy implications for promoting financial inclusion not only in China but also in other developing countries.
    Keywords: Financial inclusion; Consumption; Inequality; Welfare
    JEL: D12 D14 G21 I31
    Date: 2019–08
  4. By: Shu Yu (University of Rochester); Xingwang Qian (SUNY Buffalo State); Taoxiong Liu (Tsinghua University)
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) on Chinese firms’ outward foreign direct investment (OFDI). Overall, the BRI positively impacts on Chinese OFDI activities. However, both the direction and the magnitude of this impact depend on the host countries’ willingness to participate in the BRI. The BRI promotes more OFDI to developing countries that welcome China’s economic engagement and alters the effect of Chinese domestic push factors on its OFDI patterns. In addition, Chinese firms in construction and infrastructure, manufacturing, and trade-related sectors are more responsive to the BRI than firms in other sectors.
    Keywords: Belt and Road Initiative; Outward FDI
    JEL: F21 F23
    Date: 2019–08–10
  5. By: Li, Chunyun
    Abstract: This paper provides a new analysis of Chinese labor politics. Most scholars suggest that there is no labor movement in China because Chinese labor protests are apolitical, cellular, and short-lived, and thus inconsistent with the properties of social movements identified in the political process model. In contrast, the author draws on Gramsci’s ideas regarding counterhegemonic movements and on ethnographic and archival research to demonstrate that the activities of movement-oriented labor NGOs (MLNGOs) coupled with associated labor protests since 2011 constituted the embryo of a counterhegemonic labor movement. MLNGOs have reworked the hegemonic labor law system to undermine the regime’s legal atomization of workers, nurtured worker leaders as organic intellectuals of migrant workers to temporarily substitute for impotent workplace unions, and developed alternative organizational networks of labor organizing that challenged monopolistic union bureaucracy. This incipient counterhegemonic movement persisted several years after state repression in late 2015 but was curtailed by another wave of repression in January 2019. The very severity of state repression suggests that a counterhegemonic movement has been formed.
    JEL: N0 R14 J01
    Date: 2019–08–27
  6. By: Max Breitenlechner (University of Innsbruck); Riikka Nuutilainen (Bank of Finland)
    Abstract: We study the credit channel of Chinese monetary policy in a structural vector autoregressive framework. Using combinations of zero and sign restrictions, we identify monetary policy shocks linked to supply and demand responses in the loan market. Our results show that policy shocks coinciding with loan supply effects account for roughly 10 percent of output dynamics after two years, while loan demand effects represent up to 7 percent of output dynamics depending on the policy measure. The credit channel thus constitutes an important and economically relevant transmission channel for monetary policy in China. Monetary policy in China also accounts for a relatively high share of business cycle dynamics.
    Keywords: China, Monetary Policy, Transmission Effects, Structural Vector Autoregression, Zero and Sign Restrictions
    JEL: C32 E44 E52
    Date: 2019–08–22
  7. By: Mark Rosenzweig; Junsen Zhang
    Abstract: In many countries of the world the co-residence of young adults aged 25-34 with their parents is not uncommon and in some countries the savings rates of these age groups exceed those of the middle-aged contrary to the standard model of life-cycle savings. In this paper we examine the role of housing prices in affecting the living arrangements of adult family members and their individual savings rates by age. Using unique data from China that enable the re-construction of whole families and identify individual savings regardless of who within the family co-resides in the same household, and exploiting the Chinese government rules determining the supply of land for residential housing, we find that increases in housing prices significantly increase inter-generational co-residence and elevate the savings rates of the young relative to the middle-aged, conditional on income, in part due to the subsidies to the young from sharing housing with parents. Based on our estimates of the effects of housing prices on co-residence and the effects of co-residence on individual savings, we find that the savings rates of the young in China would be 21% lower if housing prices were at the same ratio to disposable incomes as that observed in the United States.
    JEL: J12 R31
    Date: 2019–08
  8. By: Nikolov, Plamen (State University of New York); Adelman, Alan (State University of New York)
    Abstract: Higher life expectancy and rapidly aging populations have led to the introduction of pension programs in developing countries in the last two decades. Using the introduction of a new public policy in China, we estimate the effects of pension benefits on individual cognition, measured by episodic memory and intact mental status, among individuals ages 60 and above. We find large and significant negative effects of the provision of pension benefits on cognitive functioning among the elderly. We find the largest effect of the program on delayed recall, a measure implicated in neurobiological research as an important predictor of the onset of dementia. We show that the program leads to more negative impacts among the female sample. Our findings support the mental retirement hypothesis that decreased mental activity results in atrophy of cognitive skills. We show that retirement plays a significant role in explaining cognitive decline at older ages.
    Keywords: life-cycle, cognitive functioning, cognition, aging, health, mental retirement, middle-income countries, developing countries, China
    JEL: J14 H55 H75 J26 J24 D91 O12 N35 O10
    Date: 2019–08
  9. By: Minda Ma; Weiguang Cai
    Abstract: This paper aims to investigate the factors that can mitigate carbon-dioxide (CO2) intensity and further assess CMRBS in China based on a household scale via decomposition analysis. Here we show that: Three types of housing economic indicators and the final emission factor significantly contributed to the decrease in CO2 intensity in the residential building sector. In addition, the CMRBS from 2001-2016 was 1816.99 MtCO2, and the average mitigation intensity during this period was 266.12 kgCO2/household/year. Furthermore, the energy-conservation and emission-mitigation strategy caused CMRBS to effectively increase and is the key to promoting a more significant emission mitigation in the future. Overall, this paper covers the CMRBS assessment gap in China, and the proposed assessment model can be regarded as a reference for other countries and cities for measuring the retrospective CO2 mitigation effect in residential buildings.
    Date: 2019–09

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