The Rural Land Contracting Law (RLCL), announced in 2003, is a landmark law for agricultural households in rural China. It provides new legal protections for leasing agricultural land. In theory, increasing free market exchanges of land should improve agricultural productivity by facilitating the movement of land towards the most productive users. We find that the property rights reform led to a 10 percent increase in land rental activity among rural households, a redistribution of land towards more productive farmers, and a 7 percent increase in the aggregate productivity of land. We also observe an increased responsiveness of land allocation across crops to changes in crop prices.
In our recent work (Couture et al., 2018), we combine an experiment that we implement across Chinese villages with a new collection of survey and administrative microdata to provide evidence on the potential of e-commerce integration to foster economic development in the countryside. We also explore the underlying channels and the distribution of the gains from e-commerce across households and villages.
In China, a large share of enterprises is state-owned and has preferential access to finances. This should affect the way the economy responds to changes in monetary policy. We find that a policy easing is more effective than a policy tightening – which is consistent with the PBC being able to “push on a string”.
This study traces the heterogeneous effects of government credit across different levels of the supply chain. I find that China Development Bank's industrial loans to state-owned enterprises crowd out private firms in the same industry but crowd in private firms in downstream industries. Moreover, China Development Bank's infrastructure loans crowd in private firms. It is important for policy makers to disentangle these opposing effects of government credit.
International borrowing by Chinese nationals has increased rapidly over the past 10 years. Some of this borrowing seems to be motivated by carry trade activities. Regulatory arbitrage may have played a role in this trend.