nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2022‒07‒25
nine papers chosen by
Zheng Fang
Ohio State University

  1. An installation-level model of China’s coal sector shows how its decarbonization and energy security plans will reduce overseas coal imports By Jorrit Gosens; Alex Turnbull; Frank Jotzo
  2. Chinese Aid and Democratic Values in Latin America By Andreas Freytag; Miriam Kautz
  3. The Fertility Consequences of Air Pollution in China By Xuwen Gao; Ran Song; Christopher Timmins
  4. China's CPTPP bid spurs South Korea to act on Asia-Pacific trade pacts By Jeffrey J. Schott
  5. The Relationship between Digital RMB and Digital Economy in China By Chang Su; Wenbo Lyu; Yueting Liu
  6. Investing with the Government: A Field Experiment in China By Emanuele Colonnelli; Bo Li; Ernest Liu
  7. Privatization's Influence on Agglomeration and Selection Effects: Evidence from China's Manufacturing Industry By Yikai Zhao; Jun Nagayasu
  8. Microgiving with Digital Platforms By Xiheng Jiang; Jianwei Xing; Jintao Xu; Eric Zou
  9. The Anatomy of the Global Saving Glut By Luis Bauluz; Filip Novokmet; Moritz Schularick

  1. By: Jorrit Gosens (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University); Alex Turnbull (Keshik Capital, Singapore); Frank Jotzo (Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University)
    Abstract: China aims for net-zero carbon emissions by 2060, and an emissions peak before 2030. This will reduce its consumption of coal for power generation and steel making. Simultaneously, China aims for improved energy security, primarily with expanded domestic coal production and transport infrastructure. Here, we analyze effects of both these pressures on seaborne coal imports, with a purpose-built model of China's coal production, transport, and consumption system with installation-level geospatial and technical detail. This represents a 1000-fold increase in granularity versus earlier models, allowing representation of aspects that have previously been obscured. We find that reduced Chinese coal consumption affects seaborne imports much more strongly than domestic supply. Recent expansions of rail and port capacity, which reduce costs of getting domestic coal to Southern coastal provinces, will further reduce demand for seaborne thermal coal and amplify the effect of decarbonisation on coal imports. Seaborne coking coal imports are also likely to fall, because of expanded supply of cheap and high quality coking coal from neighbouring Mongolia.
    Date: 2021–09
  2. By: Andreas Freytag (Friedrich-Schiller University Jena, University of Stellenbosch, and CESifo Research Network); Miriam Kautz (Friedrich-Schiller University Jena)
    Abstract: International economic engagement has been increasingly framed in terms of liberal democratic values. Specifically, Chinese aid has been at the center of this debate. Since Chinese aid comes with "no strings attached", a popular narrative is that Chinese aid poses a challenge to conditional aid, thus weakening democracy promotion. This study aims to deepen our understanding of how democratic values are shaped by international economic engagement. Drawing on the Latinobarómetro Household Survey, we use an instrumental variable approach to test the effect of Chinese aid on attitudes toward democracy in 18 Latin American countries on the national and regional level. We find that Chinese aid has a non-negative effect on support for democracy. We also find that individuals who have a positive attitude towards China are more likely to value democracy. In contrast, positive attitudes towards the USA have no robust impact on support for democracy.
    Keywords: China, Latin America, foreign aid, public opinion, support for democracy, values
    JEL: F35 F61 F69 O54 P33
    Date: 2022–06–23
  3. By: Xuwen Gao; Ran Song; Christopher Timmins
    Abstract: We incorporate pollution exposure into Becker’s “Quantity-Quality” (Q-Q) model of fertility and quantify how air pollution distorts individuals’ fertility behaviors in China. We document a robust pattern in which increased pollution over time negatively affects the fertility of ethnic Han people, who comprise approximately 92% of the Chinese population. These patterns are evident in both cross-sectional and panel data, when instrumenting for pollution using distant coal-fired plants upwind of cities or thermal inversions that trap pollution. Consistent with the stylized Q-Q model of fertility, we find that increased pollution drives up the parental expenditure per child, which increases the shadow price associated with the number of children and reduces fertility. Consistent with the model, we also find that the fertility choices of people who tend to have higher demand for child quality are significantly more sensitive to pollution changes. Pollution does not have a meaningful effect on the fertility of ethnic minorities, which can also be explained under the Q-Q framework.
    JEL: J13 J24 Q53
    Date: 2022–06
  4. By: Jeffrey J. Schott (Peterson Institute for International Economics)
    Abstract: China’s sudden application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) in September 2021 has broad implications for South Korea’s economic relations with China, Japan, and the United States. In the past, Korea frequently debated but invariably postponed deciding whether to participate in negotiations on the CPTPP, despite the substantial benefits to be gained from doing so. However, China’s application has prompted Korean officials to get off the fence and apply as well. As China moves to deepen its ties to regional partners, Korea needs to follow suit, complementing the ongoing implementation of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) with expedited negotiations to join the CPTPP and participation in the US-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). Korean participation in the RCEP, CPTPP, and IPEF is desirable and mutually reinforcing and should allow Korea to sustain its strong commercial interests in both the US and Chinese markets.
    Date: 2022–06
  5. By: Chang Su; Wenbo Lyu; Yueting Liu
    Abstract: By comparing the historical patterns of currency development, this paper pointed out the inevitability of the development of digital currency and the relationship between digital currency and the digital economy. With the example of China, this paper predicts the future development trend of digital currency. In the context of the rapid development of private cryptocurrency, China launched the digital currency based on serving the digital economy and committed to the globalization of the digital renminbi (RMB) and the globalization of the digital economy. The global economy in 2022 ushered in stagnation, and China treats digital fiat currency and the digital economy development as a breakthrough to pursue economic transformation and new growth. It has become one of the forefront countries with numerous experiences that can be learned by countries around the world.
    Date: 2022–05
  6. By: Emanuele Colonnelli; Bo Li; Ernest Liu
    Abstract: We study the demand for government participation in China’s venture capital and private equity market. We conduct a large-scale, non-deceptive field experiment in collaboration with the leading industry service provider, through which we survey both sides of the market: the capital investors and the private firms managing the invested capital by deploying it to high-growth entrepreneurs. Our respondents together account for nearly $1 trillion in assets under management. Each respondent evaluates synthetic profiles of potential investment partners, whose characteristics we randomize, under the real-stakes incentive that they will be introduced to real partners matching their preferences. Our main result is that the average firm dislikes investors with government ties, indicating that the benefits of political connections are small compared to the cons of having the government as an investor. We show that such dislike is not present with government-owned firms, and this dislike is highest with best-performing firms. Additional results and follow-up surveys suggest political interference in decision-making is the leading mechanism why government capital is unattractive to private firms. We feed our experimental estimates and administrative data into a simple model of two-sided search to discuss the distributional effects of government participation. Overall, our findings point to a “grabbing hand” interpretation of state-firm relationships reflecting a desire by the government to keep control over the private sector.
    JEL: C93 D2 D20 D22 G0 G02 G18 G28 G3 G38 G4 O0 O1 O14 O16 O17 O25 O3 O38 O4 O40 O47
    Date: 2022–06
  7. By: Yikai Zhao; Jun Nagayasu
    Abstract: We study the impact of state-owned enterprises'(SOE) privatization on how firm productivity responds to agglomeration and selection effects, and investigate whether and how policymakers can utilize agglomeration and selection to benefit from privatization. As SOEs enjoy privileged treatment because of their government ties, we argue that the agglomeration advantages of SOEs are rooted in their connection with local governments who regulate them, who share local information with surrounding SOEs, such as labor markets, resources, and tacit knowledge. Overall, we attempt to answer the following questions: 1) Will the SOEs f reform negatively (positively) influence enterprises' agglomeration (selection) effects? 2) To what extent is this influence affected by the local government? 3) Is this adverse or favorable impact heterogeneous?
    Date: 2022–07
  8. By: Xiheng Jiang; Jianwei Xing; Jintao Xu; Eric Zou
    Abstract: Microgiving, a new form of digital fundraising, operates by soliciting minuscule, recurring donations from large numbers of potential donors. We evaluate a charity subscription program operated by Alibaba, China’s largest retail platform, which allows sellers to pledge a tiny portion of a product’s revenue (2 cents per order) to charity, with donations made automatically as transactions occur. We present three sets of descriptive findings. First, sellers tend to pick their best-selling products for charity subscription, and many did so right before sales promotion of the associated products. This suggests revenue-maximizing motives. Second, charity subscriptions are almost never canceled, despite limited evidence that they increase revenues; interview evidence suggests that sellers’ decision to keep donating is sustained by joys of giving that worth the tiny monetary sacrifices; we also observe sellers to purchase more charity-linked products themselves after they become charity subscribers. This suggests warm-glow utilities. Third, between 2018 and 2020, the program attracted more than 2 million Alibaba sellers and generated 1.2 billion yuan of charitable funds, representing one of China’s largest online fundraisers and accounts for 12% of the country’s overall online charitable sector. We conclude that digital platforms can create an incentive-compatible environment to scale up microgiving.
    JEL: D64 H41 L81 M14
    Date: 2022–06
  9. By: Luis Bauluz (University of Bonn, WIL - World Inequality Lab); Filip Novokmet (University of Bonn, WIL - World Inequality Lab); Moritz Schularick (Institut d'Études Politiques [IEP] - Paris, University of Bonn, CEPR - Center for Economic Policy Research - CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper provides a household-level perspective on the rise of global saving and wealth since the 1980s. We calculate asset-specific saving flows and capital gains across the wealth distribution for the G3 economies-the U.S., Europe, and China. In the past four decades, global saving inequality has risen sharply. The share of household saving flows coming from the richest 10% of household increased by 60% while saving of middle class households has fallen sharply. The most important source for the surge in top-10% saving was the secular rise of global corporate saving whose ultimate owners the rich households are. Housing capital gains have supported wealth growth for middle-class households despite falling saving and rising debt. Without meaningful capital gains in risky assets, the wealth share of the bottom half of the population declined substantially in most G3 economies.
    Keywords: N32 Income and wealth inequality,household portfolios,historical micro data
    Date: 2022–04

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