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”.
A key foundation of Chinese-style institutions is that different levels of government control resources and utilize their power to support businesses connected to them. Professors Haoyuan Ding of Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, Haichao Fan of Fudan University, and Shu Lin of the Chinese University of Hong Kong develop a theoretical model and present supporting empirical evidence to show how this institutional feature affects firm exports in China. In particular, they find that political connection has a positive effect on export in industries that heavily rely on external finance and contracting environment, but a negative effect on export in other industries.
China’s government mandates that foreign investors in certain industries form joint ventures with a domestic Chinese partner. We use a dataset that accounts for all joint ventures in China from 1998 to 2007 to show that this policy is successful in its aim of encouraging technology transfers from foreign investors to domestic operations. We find empirical evidence for the existence of at least three channels through which this transfer takes place.
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.
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.