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Who Captures the Power of Pen?

Jiaxing You, Bohui Zhang, Le Zhang, Oct 17, 2018

We study how government control affects the roles of the media as an information intermediary and a corporate monitor. Comparing a large sample of news articles written by state-controlled and market-oriented Chinese media, we find that articles by the market-oriented media are more critical, more accurate, more comprehensive, and timelier than those by the state-controlled media. Moreover, only articles by the market-oriented media have a significant corporate governance impact. Subsample analyses, interviews with journalists, and a survey of university students suggest that the market-oriented media’s superior effects are explained by their operating efficiency and independence.

GDP Management to Meet or Beat Growth Targets

Changjiang Lyu, Kemin Wang, Frank Zhang, Xin Zhang, Oct 24, 2018

We apply the discontinuity methodology from the accounting literature to a political economy setting of GDP reporting and examine whether Chinese local governments manage regional GDP numbers. We find strong evidence of discontinuities around zero in the distribution of actual minus target GDP growth rates. The frequencies of just meeting or beating GDP growth targets are about five (four) times the frequencies of just missing targets at the prefecture (province) level. The results are stronger for governors with longer tenures and those without political connections to higher-level officials as well as for local governments with more resources under their control.

Human-Capital Externalities in China

Edward L. Glaeser, Ming Lu, Oct 10, 2018

This paper provides evidence of heterogeneous human-capital externality using CHIP 2002, 2007, and 2013 data from urban China. After instrumenting city-level education using the number of relocated university departments across cities in the 1950s, one additional year of city-level education increases individual hourly wages by 22.0 percent, more than twice the OLS estimate. Human-capital externality is greater for all groups of urban residents in the instrumental variables estimation.

Hayek, Local Information, and the Decentralization of Chinese State-owned Enterprises

Lixin Colin Xu, May 23, 2018

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.

Book Synopsis The Clash of Capitalisms? Chinese Companies in the United States

Ji Li, Oct 31, 2018

Chinese companies in the United States are generally adaptive to their host country’s legal and regulatory institutions. However, the adaptation varies in accordance with the companies’ ownership structure and the institutional distance between the two countries across different subject matter areas.