nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2021‒10‒11
seven papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. The Impact of Place-Based Policy: Evidence from a Multiple Synthetic Control Analysis of the Northeastern Revitalization Program in China By Justin T Callais; Linan Peng
  2. Import Competition and Firms’ Internal Networks By Jay Hyun; Ziho Park; Vladimir Smirnyagin
  3. Is high-speed rail green? Evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in China By Liang Nie; ZhongXiang Zhang
  4. Geography of Science: Competitiveness and Inequality By Aurelio Patelli; Lorenzo Napolitano; Giulio Cimini; Andrea Gabrielli
  5. New insights into price drivers of crude oil futures markets: Evidence from quantile ARDL approach By Hao-Lin Shao; Ying-Hui Shao; Yan-Hong Yang
  6. When anxious mothers meet social media: WeChat, motherhood and the imaginary of the good life By Meng, Bingchun
  7. An Update on the U.S.–China Phase One Trade Deal By Hunter L. Clark

  1. By: Justin T Callais (Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Texas Tech University); Linan Peng (Department of Economics and Management, DePauw University)
    Abstract: We examine the effect of a well-known place-based policy in China, the Northeastern Revitalization Program. In 2003, the State Council of the People’s Republic of China initiated the program in northeastern China by removing an agricultural tax, enhancing the urban social security system, facilitating foreign investments, and restructuring state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in the region. Using a budding case-study approach (the synthetic control method), we find that the program had no significant effect on GDP per capita in all three regions. Liaoning had slightly worse GDP per capita post-treatment, as well as Heilongjiang (albeit to a less extent). While the multiple synthetic control analysis shows that economic outcomes were worse post-treatment, the impact of this program was heterogeneous across the three regions. We argue the lackluster performance likely comes from the continuing dominance of inefficient SOEs in the provinces.
    Date: 2021–09–29
  2. By: Jay Hyun; Ziho Park; Vladimir Smirnyagin
    Abstract: Using administrative data on U.S. multisector firms, we document a cross-sectoral propagation of the import competition from China (“China shock”) through firms’ internal networks: Employment of an establishment in a given industry is negatively affected by China shock that hits establishments in other industries within the same firm. This indirect propagation channel impacts both manufacturing and non-manufacturing establishments, and it operates primarily through the establishment exit. We explore a range of explanations for our findings, highlighting the role of within-firm trade across sectors, scope of production, and establishment size. At the sectoral aggregate level, China shock that propagates through firms’ internal networks has a sizable impact on industry-level employment dynamics.
    Keywords: China shock, import competition, multisector firms, multiproduct firms, network propagation, trade
    JEL: D22 F14 F40
    Date: 2021–09
  3. By: Liang Nie (Ma Yinchu School of Economics, China Academy of Energy); ZhongXiang Zhang (Ma Yinchu School of Economics, China Academy of Energy)
    Abstract: Existing studies have investigated the environmental dividends of substituting high-speed rail for other energy-intensive vehicles from an engineering standpoint, but they have yet to explore the economic effects of high-speed rail and the associated carbon emission reduction benefits. To fill the research gap, we use panel data from 285 Chinese cities between 2004 and 2014, and employ a difference-in-difference model to empirically examine the impact of high-speed rail opening on CO2 emissions. Our results show that the opening of high-speed rail reduces local carbon emissions significantly. This finding is robust and is unaffected by outliers, control group selection, time trends, geography and expectation factors, or endogeneity. The mechanism test reveals that the structure, innovation, and FDI effects are three intermediate influence channels. Further research finds that the emission reduction benefit rises as the intensity of high-speed rail opening climbs the ladder, and high-speed rail service has a spillover effect within an 80-kilometer radius. Moreover, the carbon benefit of the Beijing-Shanghai high-speed rail line far surpasses its carbon footprint, indicating that the line is green. Based on these findings, we recommend that China should support the expansion of high-speed rail in order to reduce carbon emissions in a scientific and responsible manner.
    Keywords: High-speed rail, CO2 emissions, Impact mechanism, Difference-in-difference, China
    JEL: Q54 Q56 O13 R11 P28
    Date: 2021–10
  4. By: Aurelio Patelli; Lorenzo Napolitano; Giulio Cimini; Andrea Gabrielli
    Abstract: Using ideas and tools of complexity science we design a holistic measure of \textit{Scientific Fitness}, encompassing the scientific knowledge, capabilities and competitiveness of a research system. We characterize the temporal dynamics of Scientific Fitness and R\&D expenditures at the geographical scale of nations, highlighting patterns of similar research systems, and showing how developing nations (China in particular) are quickly catching up the developed ones. Down-scaling the aggregation level of the analysis, we find that even developed nations show a considerable level of inequality in the Scientific Fitness of their internal regions. Further, we assess comparatively how the competitiveness of each geographic region is distributed over the spectrum of research sectors. Overall, the Scientific Fitness represents the first high quality estimation of the scientific strength of nations and regions, opening new policy-making applications for better allocating resources, filling inequality gaps and ultimately promoting innovation.
    Date: 2021–10
  5. By: Hao-Lin Shao; Ying-Hui Shao; Yan-Hong Yang
    Abstract: This paper investigates the cointegration between possible determinants of crude oil futures prices during the COVID-19 pandemic period. We perform comparative analysis of WTI and newly-launched Shanghai crude oil futures (SC) via the Autoregressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) model and Quantile Autoregressive Distributed Lag (QARDL) model. The empirical results confirm that economic policy uncertainty, stock markets, interest rates and coronavirus panic are important drivers of WTI futures prices. Our findings also suggest that the US and China's stock markets play vital roles in movements of SC futures prices. Meanwhile, CSI300 stock index has a significant positive short-run impact on SC futures prices while S\&P500 prices possess a positive nexus with SC futures prices both in long-run and short-run. Overall, these empirical evidences provide practical implications for investors and policymakers.
    Date: 2021–10
  6. By: Meng, Bingchun
    Abstract: In this article I have tried to unpack the anxiety of Chinese middle-class mothers through examining the dialectics of structural changes and discursive shifts. The theoretical premises are that, on the one hand, China’s highly compressed modernisation process has had a major impact on parenting arrangements and parenting ethos; on the other hand, the practice of mothering and the imaginary of motherhood have significant implications for social reproduction. Combining empirical materials collected through a social media platform, in-depth interviews and focus groups, I have teased out the classed imaginaries of good mothering and how these are subsequently linked to imaginaries of the good life.
    Keywords: WeChat; motherhood; good life; neoliberalism; class inequality
    JEL: N0
    Date: 2020–04–02
  7. By: Hunter L. Clark
    Abstract: A Liberty Street Economics post from last summer by Matthew Higgins and Thomas Klitgaard contained an assessment of the Phase One trade agreement between the United States and China. The authors of that note found that, depending on how successfully the deal was implemented, the impact on U.S. economic growth could have been substantially larger than originally foreseen by many of its critics, as a result of the fact that the pandemic had depressed the U.S. economy far below its potential growth path. Here we take another look at these considerations with the benefit of an additional year’s worth of trade data and a much different economic environment in the United States.
    Keywords: China; trade; tariff
    JEL: E2 F00
    Date: 2021–10–06

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