Massive monetary injections occurred in 2009Q1-Q4 as a result of a drastic change in monetary policy causing an unprecedented credit expansion in 2009-2011, which stimulated economic growth in the short-run. New credit was disproportionately allocated to real estate and its supporting heavy industries and fueled a sharp rise in land prices. The long-lasting consequence of this monetary stimulus resulted in a twin problem facing China: the high investment-to-GDP and debt-to-GDP ratios.
We explore the role of interest rates in monetary policy transmission in China in the context of its multiple instrument setting. In doing so, we construct a new series of monetary policy surprises using information from high frequency Chinese financial market data around major monetary policy announcements. We find that a contractionary monetary policy surprise increases interest rates and significantly reduces inflation and economic activity. Our findings provide further support to recent studies suggesting that monetary policy transmission in China has become increasingly similar to that in advanced economies.
We find that retail investors who win an allotment for an IPO subscription subsequently become more overconfident relative to retail investors who do not have an allotment. The former group subsequently trades more frequently and loses more money. Overall, our evidence indicates that the experience of good luck makes people more overconfident about their prospects.
Our research studies the incentive costs of China’s housing booms . We use the type and actual time stamps of 9.3 million credit card transactions by over 200,000 cardholders to detect non-work-related behavior during work hours. Employees respond to positive house price shocks with an immediate and permanent increase in their propensity to use work hours to attend to personal needs. Our estimate implies an elasticity of shirking propensity with respect to house price of 1.6. The effect is driven by homeowners, especially among owners with higher housing wealth. Further analyses point to negative productivity implications of the increased shirking.
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”.