When comparing the credit ratings of domestic and global agencies on Chinese corporations, because of the differences in ratings scales, it is best to focus on the domestic and global agency orderings of relative credit risk. Testing for differences in the determinants of ratings, we find that asset size is weighed more heavily as a positive factor by domestic agencies, while profitability and state-ownership are weighed more positively by global rating agencies, which also weigh leverage more heavily as a negative factor. In spite of these differences, both domestic and global ratings appear to be priced into the market values of rated bonds.
Recent IMF research explores the effectiveness of credit in supporting the Chinese economy, and compares it with the effectiveness of fiscal stimulus. The study finds that credit contributed positively to output growth in China in the early 2000s, but the effect fell to almost zero post-2010. This suggests that, at present, credit cannot effectively support further growth of the Chinese economy. In contrast, the estimated fiscal multiplier is 1.4 post-2010, which is high in international and historic comparisons. Therefore, a targeted fiscal stimulus can cushion the adjustment of the Chinese economy to lower credit growth.
Using a longitudinal survey conducted by the authors in Shanghai since 2010, we empirically examine the differences between migrant schools and public schools. We find that migrant students in migrant schools performed substantially worse than their counterparts in public schools in 2010, but the difference decreased by half in 2012, thanks to financial subsidies to migrant schools. We also show that even fortunate migrant students who are able to enroll in public schools tend to go to poorer quality schools; however, there is no evidence on negative peer effects of migrant children in public schools.
By using data on 137 counties in north China, we find that the density of financial institutions (Qianzhuang and Diandang) in the late Qing period has a significant positive effect on the number and total assets of small loan companies, a dominant institution of informal finance today. The persistent effect of historical financial institutions can be explained by Confucian culture, which instills integrity, lineage solidarity and acquaintance networks.
In Shanghai, housing entitlements with enrollment access to a good public primary school is associated with a 0.1-0.35 percentage point lower annual rental yield. This rental yield gap is the opportunity cost of securing such housing, which is within the affordability range of most middle-income families in Shanghai. This implies that, should there be no credit constraint for homeownership, children from middle-income families should have a higher likelihood of accessing better public education. We find, however, that the enrollment rights between homeowners and renters, together with the credit constraint to own a home, actually lowers the chance of children from middle-income families of attending better public schools relative to those children from families with high initial wealth. This resulting reduced intergeneration mobility exacerbates the social inequality in China.