We document that since December 2015 the People’s Bank of China (PBC) has followed a “two-pillar” exchange rate policy that aims to achieve both stability and flexibility. Based on a no-arbitrage model and options price data we estimate the credibility of the policy as well as its impact on the RMB/USD exchange rate. The model was able to correctly forecast the end of the two-pillar policy in May 2017.
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.
China’s remarkable economic rise over the past three decades has yielded many benefits to its own citizens and to people all around the globe. But the export-led growth model that underpinned China’s success and its increased role in the global economy has also led over time to the development of some serious imbalances in its economy. How China deals with these imbalances will have important implications for the rest of the world going forward—in particular, the quantitative analysis reported here suggests that were China to experience a financial crisis, the hit to the rest of the world would be substantial.
We predict and analyze provincial-level healthy life expectancy for 31 provinces of China in 2015. Using data from a wide range of countries, we construct a predictive regression model based on socioeconomic variables such as GDP per capita, health and education expenditures, and the number of hospital beds. We find substantial regional health disparities, with healthy life expectancy varying by up to 10 years between different provinces for both men and women.
In our recent work (Chen and Fang, 2018), we evaluate the long-term consequences of China’s family planning policies on the quality of life of the Chinese elderly. We identify the causal impact by exploiting the provincial heterogeneity in implementing the “Later, Longer, Fewer” policies in the early 1970s. We estimate the causal effect on a set of outcomes, including support from children, consumption, and physical and mental health. We find that family planning has either no effect or a slightly positive effect on elderly parents’ physical health status; however, parents who are more exposed to family planning policies report significantly worse mental health.