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Trends and Cycles in China’s Macroeconomy

Chun Chang, Kaiji Chen, Daniel F. Waggoner, Tao Zha, Jun 27, 2018

China’s spectacular growth over the 2000s has slowed since 2013. The driving force behind the country’s growth was investment, so the key to understanding the slowdown lies in understanding what sustained investment in the past. This column shows how a preferential credit policy promoting heavy industrialisation explains the trends and cycles in China’s macroeconomy over the past two decades. This policy was not without negative consequences, particularly in terms of the distortions it introduced for business finance. Going forward, China needs to focus on creating the right incentives for banks to make loans to small productive businesses.

Does Good Luck Make People Overconfident? Evidence from a Natural Experiment in China

Huasheng Gao, Donghui Shi, Bin Zhao, Aug 01, 2018

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.

Do Richer Households Exit Agriculture? Positive Income Shocks in Rural China

Jessica Leight, Jul 18, 2018

Rural households in China have experienced a steadily increasing rise in their real income over the last twenty years as economic reforms have revitalized this sector. Analyzing an unusual natural experiment generated by an increase in prices paid for mandatory grain procurement in China post-1993, I seek to provide evidence around how an increase in permanent income affects households’ production portfolio. Evidence suggests that households experiencing positive income shocks substitute away from agricultural production and are more likely to migrate and to invest in non-agricultural production. They also increase their observed levels of borrowing and non-staple consumption.

The Dynamic Effects of Computerized VAT Invoices on Chinese Manufacturing Firms

Haichao Fan, Yu Liu, Nancy Qian, Jaya Wen, Aug 08, 2018

This investigation uses a balanced panel of large manufacturing firms to provide novel evidence on the dynamic effects of computerizing VAT invoices on tax revenues and firm behavior in China, 1998-2007. We find that computerization increases cumulative VAT revenues and increases the effective average tax rate. Furthermore, the evidence suggests that the effects of computerization change over time: tax revenue gains are likely to be smaller in the long run. Meanwhile, firms reduce output and input, and increase productivity monotonically over time.

Do Interest Rates Play a Major Role in Monetary Policy Transmission in China?

Gunes Kamber, Madhusudan Mohanty, Aug 17, 2018

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.