nep-cna New Economics Papers
on China
Issue of 2023‒09‒04
four papers chosen by
Zheng Fang, Ohio State University

  1. The Belt and Road Initiative: Are China’s Investments Sensitive to the Quality of Governance in a Host Country? By Xinge Ruan; Nader Habibi
  2. Exposure to the One-Child Policy and Fertility among Chinese Immigrants to the US By Lin, Siyuan; Argys, Laura M.; Averett, Susan L.
  3. Political Visits and Firm Value: Evidence from central leaders’ local tours in China By ITO Asei; LIM Jaehwan; ZHANG Hongyong
  4. "Generate" the Future of Work through AI: Empirical Evidence from Online Labor Markets By Jin Liu; Xingchen Xu; Yongjun Li; Yong Tan

  1. By: Xinge Ruan (Brandeis University); Nader Habibi (Brandeis University)
    Abstract: This article uses statistical analysis to explore the correlation between the quality of governance in a host country and the size and nature of China’s investments in that country, based on the available data for 2005-2020. We focus on two types of Chinese economic engagements with each host country: direct investment by Chinese firms and the volume of service contracts awarded to Chinese firms for construction projects. Overall, our statistical analysis demonstrates that China’s direct investments and service contracts both show significant correlations with the governance characteristics of the host country. At the same time, we observe a large degree of diversity in the significance of specific governance indicators across regions and economic sectors. The Regulation Quality indicator, for example, has a strong positive correlation with total investment and total service contract, but the significance is lost when the sample is restricted to the Middle East or South Asia. The most intriguing finding of our research is that in some sectors, the correlation between governance indicators and China's direct investments and service contracts varies significantly. The Voice and Accountability indicator has a positive correlation with China's direct investments but a negative correlation with China's service contracts for the entire sample. This suggests that China is awarded more service contracts in less democratic countries of these regions. An alternative explanation is that Chinese firms prefer to invest directly in more democratic countries and operate as contractors in less democratic countries. Similarly, we find a positive correlation between the absence of corruption and China's service contracts, but no significant correlation with its direct investments.
    Date: 2023–05
  2. By: Lin, Siyuan (Lehigh University); Argys, Laura M. (University of Colorado Denver); Averett, Susan L. (Lafayette College)
    Abstract: We examine whether women exposed to China's one-child policy (OCP) change their fertility decisions when they migrate to a country without fertility restrictions. Using American Community Survey data (2010–2020), we compare the childbearing decisions of Chinese-born women with varying degrees of exposure before migrating to the US to each other and a control group of other Asian immigrants. We find that Chinese women aged 35-45 exposed to the OCP for a longer duration have significantly fewer children than women who were not exposed to the OCP. These findings are robust to several specification checks.
    Keywords: fertility, one-child policy, immigrants, China
    JEL: F22 I15 J13 N35
    Date: 2023–07
  3. By: ITO Asei; LIM Jaehwan; ZHANG Hongyong
    Abstract: This study investigates how Chinese central leaders choose firms to visit and how these visits affect the firm value and performance of the companies visited. We compile a list of visits made by General Secretary Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to Chinese listed companies from 2012 to 2022. Together with an event list for the Hu Jintao period, we apply an event study to estimate the determinants of firm selection and the short- and long-term effects of these visits on firm stock price and performance. The results reveal that political visits generated positive cumulative abnormal returns of 1.26%–5.97% for visited companies, depending on the individual leader. The findings also indicate that the visiting effects are qualitatively different among two administrations. Moreover, the visits made during the second term of the Xi administration increased cumulative abnormal returns prior to the visit, implying the possibility of suspicious pre-event trading due to information leaks. Regarding long-term effects, we find positive impacts on sales and bank loans of private firms. Results suggest while the business environments surrounding the Chinese companies have institutionalized, the value of political connections has not been diminished, but the way in which their effects manifest has been transformed.
    Date: 2023–07
  4. By: Jin Liu (University of Science and Technology of China); Xingchen Xu (University of Washington); Yongjun Li (University of Science and Technology of China); Yong Tan (University of Washington)
    Abstract: With the advent of general-purpose Generative AI, the interest in discerning its impact on the labor market escalates. In an attempt to bridge the extant empirical void, we interpret the launch of ChatGPT as an exogenous shock, and implement a Difference-in-Differences (DID) approach to quantify its influence on text-related jobs and freelancers within an online labor marketplace. Our results reveal a significant decrease in transaction volume for gigs and freelancers directly exposed to ChatGPT. Additionally, this decline is particularly marked in units of relatively higher past transaction volume or lower quality standards. Yet, the negative effect is not universally experienced among service providers. Subsequent analyses illustrate that freelancers proficiently adapting to novel advancements and offering services that augment AI technologies can yield substantial benefits amidst this transformative period. Consequently, even though the advent of ChatGPT could conceivably substitute existing occupations, it also unfolds immense opportunities and carries the potential to reconfigure the future of work. This research contributes to the limited empirical repository exploring the profound influence of LLM-based generative AI on the labor market, furnishing invaluable insights for workers, job intermediaries, and regulatory bodies navigating this evolving landscape.
    Date: 2023–08

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