nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2021‒03‒29
eight papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. What are the key components of an entrepreneurial ecosystem in a developing economy? A longitudinal empirical study on technology business incubators in China By Xiangfei Yuan; Haijing Hao; Chenghua Guan; Alex Pentland
  2. The Performance of Non-Listed Opportunity Real Estate Funds in China By Graeme Newell; Jufri Marzuki; Martin Hoesli; Rose Neng Lai
  3. The Productivity Consequences of Pollution-Induced Migration in China By Gaurav Khanna; Wenquan Liang; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak; Ran Song
  4. A Theory of Power Structure and Institutional Compatibility: China vs. Europe Revisited By Ruixue Jia; Gérard Roland; Yang Xie
  5. Gender and Bureaucratic Corruption: Evidence from Two Countries By Francesco Decarolis; Raymond Fisman; Paolo Pinotti; Silvia Vannutelli; Yongxiang Wang
  6. Just Above the Exam Cutoff Score: Elite College Admission and Wages in China By Ruixue Jia; Hongbin Li
  7. A General Equilibrium Assessment of COVID-19's Labor Productivity Impacts on China's Regional Economies By Xi He; Edward J. Balistreri; Gyu Hyun Kim; Tao Xiong; Wendong Zhang
  8. Reconciling the Conflicting Narratives on Poverty in China By Martin Ravallion; Shaohua Chen

  1. By: Xiangfei Yuan; Haijing Hao; Chenghua Guan; Alex Pentland
    Abstract: Since the 1980s, technology business incubators (TBIs), which focus on accelerating businesses through resource sharing, knowledge agglomeration, and technology innovation, have become a booming industry. As such, research on TBIs has gained international attention, most notably in the United States, Europe, Japan, and China. The present study proposes an entrepreneurial ecosystem framework with four key components, i.e., people, technology, capital, and infrastructure, to investigate which factors have an impact on the performance of TBIs. We also empirically examine this framework based on unique, three-year panel survey data from 857 national TBIs across China. We implemented factor analysis and panel regression models on dozens of variables from 857 national TBIs between 2015 and 2017 in all major cities in China and found that a number of factors associated with people, technology, capital, and infrastructure components have various statistically significant impacts on the performance of TBIs at either national model or regional models.
    Date: 2021–03
  2. By: Graeme Newell (Western Sydney University - School of Economics and Finance); Jufri Marzuki (Western Sydney University); Martin Hoesli (University of Geneva - Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM); Swiss Finance Institute; University of Aberdeen - Business School); Rose Neng Lai (University of Macau)
    Abstract: Institutional investors have sought exposure to the China real estate market, often via opportunity real estate funds. This has been by a pure China opportunity real estate fund or by a pan-Asia opportunity real estate fund where China opportunity real estate was part of this real estate portfolio. This paper develops two bespoke China opportunity real estate fund performance indices to assess the risk-adjusted performance and diversification benefits of China opportunity real estate funds in a mixed-asset portfolio. Over 2008-2019, pan-Asia opportunity real estate funds were seen to outperform pure China opportunity real estate funds. China opportunity real estate funds were seen to have a role in a China mixed-asset portfolio; particularly at lower risk levels in the portfolio risk spectrum. This paper also highlights critical issues for institutional investors for effective China real estate exposure.
    Keywords: Non-listed real estate fund, opportunity real estate fund, China, risk-adjusted performance, real estate investment strategy
    JEL: R33
    Date: 2021–03
  3. By: Gaurav Khanna; Wenquan Liang; Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak; Ran Song
    Abstract: Migration and pollution are two defining features of China's impressive growth performance over the last 30 years. In this paper we study the migration response to pollution in Chinese cities, and its consequences for productivity and welfare. We document a robust pattern in which skilled workers emigrate more in response to pollution than the unskilled. Their greater sensitivity to air quality holds up in cross-sectional variation across cities, panel variation with individual fixed-effects, and when instrumenting for pollution using distant power-plants upwind of cities, or thermal inversions that trap pollution. Pollution therefore changes the spatial distribution of skilled and unskilled workers, which results in higher returns to skill in cities that the educated migrate away from. We quantify the loss in aggregate productivity due to this re-sorting by estimating a model of demand and supply of skilled and unskilled workers across Chinese cities. Counterfactual simulations from the estimated model show that reducing pollution would increase productivity through spatial re-sorting by approximately as much as the direct health benefits of clean air. Physical and institutional restrictions on mobility exacerbate welfare losses. People's dislike of pollution explains a substantial portion of the wage gap between cities.
    JEL: E24 J61 O18 Q52 R12
    Date: 2021–01
  4. By: Ruixue Jia; Gérard Roland; Yang Xie
    Abstract: Despite a large consensus among economists on the strong interdependence and synergy between pro-development institutions, how should one understand why Imperial China, with weaker rule of law and property rights, gave the commoners more opportunities to access elite status than Premodern Europe, for example via the civil service exam and the absence of hereditary titles? Supported by rich historical narratives, we show that these institutional differences reflect more general differences in the power structure of society: (1) the Ruler enjoyed weaker absolute power in Europe; (2) the People were more on par with the Elites in China in terms of power and rights. Based on these narratives, we build a game-theoretical model and analyze how the power structure can shape the stability of an autocratic rule. If we read greater absolute power of the Ruler as conditioning more of the power and rights of the ruled on the Ruler's will, we show that a more symmetric Elite–People relationship can stabilize autocratic rule. If absolute power is stronger, this stabilizing effect will be stronger, and the Ruler's incentive to promote such symmetry will be greater. The theory explains the power structure differences between Imperial China and Premodern Europe, as well as specific institutions such as the bureaucracy in China and the role of cities in Europe. It is also consistent with the observation that autocratic rule was more stable in Imperial China than in Premodern Europe.
    JEL: N40 O17 P48
    Date: 2021–01
  5. By: Francesco Decarolis; Raymond Fisman; Paolo Pinotti; Silvia Vannutelli; Yongxiang Wang
    Abstract: We examine the correlation between gender and bureaucratic corruption using two distinct datasets, one from Italy and a second from China. In each case, we find that women are far less likely to be investigated for corruption than men. In our Italian data, female procurement officials are 34 percent less likely than men to be investigated for corruption by enforcement authorities; in China, female prefectural leaders are as much as 75 percent less likely to be arrested for corruption than men. While these represent correlations (rather than definitive causal effects), both are very robust relationships, which survive the inclusion of fine-grained individual and geographic controls.
    JEL: D73 J16
    Date: 2021–01
  6. By: Ruixue Jia; Hongbin Li
    Abstract: A burgeoning literature has documented the importance of elite colleges. Yet, little is known about access to elite education and its labor market implications in China, a country that produces one in every five college graduates in the world. College admission in China is governed by a single exam—the national college entrance exam, and the government sets admission cutoff scores for elite colleges. We examine the impacts of scoring above the elite-tier cutoff on a student's access to elite colleges and wage outcomes after graduation, using the discontinuity around the cutoff score. By employing hand-collected survey data, we find that scoring above the cutoff not only increases the chance of entering an elite college but also raises a young person's first-job wages after graduation. We also find that those just above the cutoff have peers with higher scores and better social networks than those below the cutoff, but it is less clear whether the two groups use their time differently in college.
    JEL: H1 I20 I25 I26
    Date: 2021–02
  7. By: Xi He; Edward J. Balistreri; Gyu Hyun Kim; Tao Xiong; Wendong Zhang (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD))
    Abstract: This study introduces a database that can be used to analyze COVID-19's impacts on China's regional economies. This database contains various sectoral and regional economic outcomes. In the context of a general equilibrium trade model, we utilize the provincial and sectoral value-added and national trade series to estimate COVID-19's province-by-month labor-productivity impacts. Compared to February 2019 levels, we find an average 37.9% decrease in labor productivity (equivalent to around 293 million jobs) and an average 20.8% decrease in welfare across provinces in February 2020. Both labor productivity and welfare have recovered quickly since April 2020. As of September 2020, average provincial labor productivity increased by 29.8% (equivalent to around 230 million jobs) and average welfare increased by 14.7% relative to their September 2019 levels.
    Date: 2021–03
  8. By: Martin Ravallion (Department of Economics, Georgetown University); Shaohua Chen
    Abstract: The widely held view that China has greatly reduced income poverty over the last 40 years does not accord with all the evidence. The paper tries to reconcile the conflicting findings. The fact that strongly-relative measures show rising poverty is easily understood, since such measures depend solely on relative distribution, and inequality in China has been rising until recently. More surprising, and revealing, is the story told by the official lines, which were revised twice since the original 1985 line. The paper shows that the official lines are neither absolute nor strongly relative. Rather, they are weakly relative, with a positive elasticity to the mean that is less than unity. Along with rising inequality, this feature slowed the pace of measured poverty reduction when compared to absolute measures. Nonetheless, substantial progress against poverty is indicated, as we confirm using our independent, and higher, weakly-relative lines calibrated to cross-country data. Classification- I32, O15
    Keywords: China, poverty lines, relative income
    Date: 2021–03–16

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