Hayek (1945) predicts that where local information is important, the organization of production should be decentralized. This prediction is tested and supported in the context of the decentralization of Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs). SOEs are more likely to decentralize with increasing distance from the seat of the oversight government. This likelihood is especially strong when performance heterogeneity is greater and/or transportation costs are higher.
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.
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.
That China, one of the lowest income countries in the world at the turn of the 21st century, became a super-power in scientific knowledge in less than two decades is a remarkable development in the history of science. The way China deploys its newly developed scientific resources will drive the direction of science and technology into the foreseeable future and the direction of our increasingly knowledge-based economy.