nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2021‒05‒24
four papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. Who cares : Deciphering China’s female employment paradox By Yu, Haiyue; Cao, Jin; Kang, Shulong
  2. Identifying residential consumption patterns using data-mining techniques: A large-scale study of smart meter data in Chengdu, China By Kang, J.; Reiner, D.
  3. Remaking China’s Global Image with the Belt and Road Initiative: Is the Jury Out? By Jianhong Qi; Kam Ki Tang; Da Yin; Yong Zhao
  4. Towards equity and sustainability? China’s pension system reform moves center stage By Li Yang

  1. By: Yu, Haiyue; Cao, Jin; Kang, Shulong
    Abstract: Female post-childbirth labor market participation and labor intensity are extraordinarily high in China, given that public childcare subsidies are limited and supportive policies for childbearing female employees are largely absent. Establishing a panel dataset that tracks female employment and childbirth, we find that such a paradox is well-explained by the intra-family childcare support provided by grandparents. Correcting the selection bias that stems from women’s fertility choices using the propensity score matching difference-in-difference model, we find that women without grandparental support suffer a substantial drop in post-childbirth employment, while women with grandparental support even experience a rise in employment after childbirth. It takes women without grandparental support twice as long to recover their employment after childbirth. Finally, we find that childbirth does not decrease women's labor intensity due to a lack of labor market flexibility, and that women face a stay-or-quit dilemma when grandparental childcare support is absent.
    JEL: C24 J13 J22
    Date: 2021–05–19
  2. By: Kang, J.; Reiner, D.
    Abstract: The fine-grained electricity consumption data created by advanced metering technologies offers an opportunity to understand residential demand from new angles. Although there exists a large body of research on demand response in short- and long-term forecasting, a comprehensive analysis to identify household consumption behaviour in different scenarios has not been conducted. The study’s novelty lies in its use of unsupervised machine learning tools to explore residential customers’ demand patterns and response without the assistance of traditional survey tools. We investigate behavioural response in three different contexts: 1) seasonal (using weekly consumption profiles); 2) holidays/festivals; and 3) extreme weather situations. The analysis is based on the smart metering data of 2,000 households in Chengdu, China over three years from 2014 to 2016. Workday/weekend profiles indicate that there are two distinct groups of households that appear to be white-collar or relatively affluent families. Demand patterns at the major festivals in China, especially the Spring Festival, reveal various types of lifestyle and households. In terms of extreme weather response, the most striking finding was that in summer, at night-time, over 72% of households doubled (or more) their electricity usage, while consumption changes in winter do not seem to be significant. Our research offers more detailed insight into Chinese residential consumption and provides a practical framework to understand households’ behaviour patterns in different settings.
    Keywords: Residential electricity, household consumption behaviour, China, machine learning
    JEL: C55 D12 R22 Q41
    Date: 2021–05–12
  3. By: Jianhong Qi (School of Economics, Shandong University, Jinan, 250100, China); Kam Ki Tang (School of Economics, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia); Da Yin (School of Economics, Renmin University of China, Beijing,100872, China); Yong Zhao (Institute of China’s Economic Reform and Development, Renmin University of China, Beijing,100872, China)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate how foreign economic policy may affect a country’s global image or soft power. Our empirical work focuses on China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), one of the most ambitious international economic policies in modern times, that covers more than 70 countries across the globe. We find evidence that international opinions on China are diverse but not polarized. We also find that the BRI has curried favor for China in the related countries. On average, the BRI increases net public approval rating of the Chinese leadership in these countries by more than 15 percentage points. Interestingly, the BRI arouses approving foreign opinions more than quietens disapproving voices. Finally, countries that have stronger trade, foreign direct investment or political ties with China do not necessarily respond to the BRI more favorably, while those contracting more infrastructure projects with Chinese firms do.
    Keywords: Global image, Public approval, Belt and Road Initiative, China
    JEL: F02 F42 R11
    Date: 2020–08–25
  4. By: Li Yang (PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, INSEAD - Institut Européen d'administration des Affaires)
    Abstract: In this paper I review the latest development of China's public pension system. Last several decades saw China's tremendous achievement in various public pension reforms. Especially since the 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), reform has accelerated. By 2019, the public pension system in China has covered almost one billion adults, which makes it the biggest pension system in the world. Together with the expansion of Dibao (Basic living allowance) and the eradication of poverty, the development of pension system has become the top agenda in current policy making of the Chinese government. Yet, challenges exist: unequal distribution of pension resource and the long-run unsustainability of the pension system are waiting to be addressed with increasing urgence. Although potential countermeasures, both based on international experience and with Chinese feature, has been proposed and piloted in both regional and national level, there are incremental pressure for further reforming the system. In the latest Five-Year Plan (2021-2015), the government has vowed to construct a unified, equitable, and sustainable pension system with full coverage. This is a very challenging yet exciting goal to achieve not only for the policy makers, but also for academic researchers and general public.
    Date: 2021–04

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