nep-tra New Economics Papers
on Transition Economics
Issue of 2006‒12‒22
three papers chosen by

  1. The Return to Capital in China By Chong-En Bai; Chang-Tai Hsieh; Yingyi Qian
  2. Assessing the contribution of investment projects to building a market economy: beyond cost-benefit analysis? By José CARBAJO
  3. China and the Multilateral Trading System By Robert Z. Lawrence

  1. By: Chong-En Bai; Chang-Tai Hsieh; Yingyi Qian
    Abstract: China's investment rate is one of the highest in the world, which naturally leads one to suspect that the return to capital in China must be quite low. Using the data from China's national accounts, we estimate the rate of return to capital in China. We find that the aggregate rate of return to capital averaged 25% during 1978-1993, fell during 1993-1998, and has become flat at roughly 20% since 1998. This evidence suggests that the aggregate return to capital in China does not appear to be significantly lower than the return to capital in the rest of the world. We also find that the standard deviation of the rate of return to capital across Chinese provinces has fallen since 1978.
    JEL: E01 E22 E23 O11 O16 O53
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: José CARBAJO
    Abstract: The process of economic and political transition from central planning to market economy involves a profound transformation of the way the resources are allocated in the economy. In these circumstances, economists need to find ways to assess and compare the transition impact of investment projects by trying to identify the dynamics of change associated with projects and assess their potential long-run impact on the economy and its relevant actors. In order to assess the long run impact of a project on the process of transition from central planning to a market economy (the project’s “transition impactâ€), the Office of the Chief Economist at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has developed a set of criteria to identify the sources of such transition impact and to assess their relative strength. This process of identification and assessment has resulted in a transition impact methodology based on the informed value judgement of the economists who review projects. This paper describes this methodology and how it is implemented in the EBRD
    Keywords: Project Analysis, Transition, EBRD
    JEL: P21 O22 D61
    Date: 2006–12
  3. By: Robert Z. Lawrence
    Abstract: This paper reviews China's multilateral and preferential trade policies. It reviews the demanding terms of China's WTO accession, its current tariff and trade regime and its participation in the Doha Round negotiations and the institution's regular activities. The analysis concludes that China's trade policies are broadly supportive of a rules based multilateral trading order and its behavior at the WTO is that of a status quo power rather than one seeking major systemic changes. The discussion then turns to China's regional trade initiatives. China has been extremely active in negotiating these and their implications remain uncertain. Concerns about an East Asian fortress, though, appear misplaced. Directly, and through their impact in inducing others to respond, these FTAs could provide a powerful impetus to the process of competitive global liberalization. Countries that do implement agreements with China will find it relatively easy to open their markets to other developing countries. There is also a risk however that the proliferation of FTAs will lead to web of overlapping agreements that could make the trading system unnecessarily complex
    JEL: F13
    Date: 2006–12

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