Frontiers of Economics in China

ISSN 1673-3444

ISSN 1673-3568(Online)

CN 11-5744/F

邮发代号 80-978



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“One Belt and One Road” and Free Trade Zones—China’s New Opening-up Initiatives
Justin Yifu Lin
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (4): 585-590.
摘要   PDF (187KB)

“One Belt and One Road” and Free Trade Zones are two of China’s new opening-up strategies developed in response to the changed domestic and international circumstances. Implementation of these strategies can provide China with a sounder market economic system and a better external environment. It can not only help China to further develop into a high income country, but also facilitate the industrialization and modernization of other developing countries.

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Learning and Efficiency with Search Frictions
Xi Weng
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (3): 449-466.
摘要   PDF (219KB)

This paper studies the allocative efficiency in a Moscarini (2005)-type equilibrium search environment with learning. It is shown that the stationary equilibrium is efficient if and only if the Hosios condition holds no matter whether learning is about firm-specific human capital or about general human capital. However, the stationary equilibrium can never be efficient if externalities exist from unemployment. In contrast, even with externalities, the stationary equilibrium can be efficient under some modified Hosios condition if there is no uncertainty (standard Mortensen and Pissarides (1994)-type equilibrium search environment). The key intuition is that the equilibrium can only be efficient if firm-worker matching is formed and terminated efficiently.

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The Effect of Family Size on Children’s Education: Evidence from the Fertility Control Policy in China
Ying Shen
Frontiers of Economics in China    2017, 12 (1): 37-65.
摘要   PDF (2238KB)

Empirical research on the effect of family size on child education is complicated by the endogeneity of family size. This study exploits plausibly exogenous changes in family size caused by China’s population control policy to estimate the causal relationship between family size and child education outcomes. The results show that, compared to an only child, a person with an additional sibling will have an approximate seventeen percentage points lower likelihood of completing middle school in China. Separate regressions across individual characteristics reveal that much of this negative effect appears to be driven by the cohorts born in earlier years after the policy, and children with the highest birth order within a family.

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Bank specific and macroeconomic determinants of bank profitability: Empirical evidence from the China banking sector
Fadzlan SUFIAN, Muzafar Shah HABIBULLAH
Frontiers of Economics in China    2009, 4 (2): 274-291.
摘要   HTML   PDF (286KB)

This paper seeks to examine the determinants of the profitability of the Chinese banking sector during the post-reform period of 2000–2005. The empirical findings from this study suggest that all the determinants variables have statistically significant impact on China banks profitability. However, the impacts are not uniform across bank types. We find that liquidity, credit risk, and capitalization have positive impacts on the state owned commercial banks (SOCBs) profitability, while the impact of cost is negative. Similar to their SOCB counterparts, we find that joint stock commercial banks (JSCB) with higher credit risk tend to be more profitable, while higher cost results in a lower JSCB profitability levels. During the period under study, the empirical findings suggest that size and cost results in a lower city commercial banks (CITY) profitability, while the more diversified and relatively better capitalized CITY tend to exhibit higher profitability levels. The impact of economic growth is positive, while growth in money supply is negatively related to the SOCB and CITY profitability levels.

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A Policy Perspective on Outward Foreign Direct Investment by Chinese State-Owned Enterprises
Steven Globerman
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (4): 537-547.
摘要   PDF (186KB)

A growing number of developed country governments in recent years have adopted a hostile attitude towards foreign direct investments undertaken in their markets by state-owned enterprises (SOEs), the latter often based in China. The broad reason for this hostility is the belief that state-owned enterprises pursue non-commercial objectives with resulting damage to host economies. This paper argues that the empirical evidence shows SOEs are increasingly exhibiting market-owned behavior. Furthermore, any adverse consequences of non-commercial behavior are likely to be realized primarily by the SOEs themselves.

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Premature Deindustrialisation in the Developing World
Dani Rodrik
Frontiers of Economics in China    2017, 12 (1): 1-6.
摘要   PDF (1015KB)

As developed economies have substituted away from manufacturing towards services, so too have developing countries—to an even greater extent. Such sectoral change may be premature for economies that never fully industrialised in the first place. This article presents evidence that countries with smaller manufacturing sectors substitute away from manufacturing to a larger extent, suggesting a trade channel through which falling international relative prices of manufacturing lead price-taking developing economies to substitute accordingly.

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A Comparative Study of Two Global Crises
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (3): 396-413.
摘要   PDF (4049KB)

This article identifies the differences and common features of two global crises: the Great Depression of 1929 and the international financial crisis of 2008. The circumstances of the two crises differ in terms of the demographic structure, the technological conditions, the economic and social systems in developed countries, the extent of globalization and other global economic situations. Among the common features, both crises were preceded by unprecedented economic booms, laisse-faire regulatory policies, easy monetary and credit policies, asset bubbles and yawning income gaps. Moreover, the crises had a strong redistribution effect, which would cause shifts of power among large countries and major changes in international economic order.

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Hollowing out of the Real Economy: Evidence from China’s Listed Firms
Xu Li,Xiang Shao,Zhigang Tao
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (3): 390-409.
摘要   PDF (282KB)

The paper studies an often-observed phenomenon of diversification of manufacturing firms into real estate development in East Asian economies. Utilizing a sudden change in China’s accounting standards that requires firms to disclose information about their real estate holdings for investment purpose (or investment property), we examine both the impact of such diversification on firms’ investment in their original business and the stock market response to such diversification. Our results confirm there exists underinvestment in original business (or hollowing out of the real economy) for firms diversifying into real estate, and that there is a lack of investor response to such diversification, in both short-run and long-run. Our study calls for further research on the role of real estate development in the long-run competitiveness of developing economies.

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China’s Macroeconomic Outlook and Risk Assessment: Counterfactual Analysis, Policy Simulation, and Long-Term Governance — A Summary of Annual Report (2015–2016)
Kevin X. D. Huang,Guoqiang Tian
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (2): 173-191.
摘要   PDF (5436KB)

This summary report highlights the confluence of continued downward pressures and deflation scares in the face of looming uncertainty in China’s key macroeconomic landscapes. Counterfactual analyses and policy simulations are conducted, in addition to benchmark forecasts, based on IAR-CMM model and taking into account both cyclical and secular factors. Economic deceleration is projected to continue in the short to medium term, with real GDP growth declining to 6.3% (5.5% using more reliable instead of official data) in 2016 and facing a significant risk of sliding further down in 2017. Five key factors contributing to the weak outlook, additional to frictions and impediments associated with economic transition/restructuring and lackluster domestic/external demands, are identified, including: lack of new growth/ development engine, exhaustion of government-led driving force, the crowding-out of private sectors by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) with excess capacity\capital overhang, nonperforming government sectors and officials, and twist or misinterpretation of the “New Normal.” A root cause of these problems, lying with sluggishness in China’s transformation into a market based economy, has to do with overpowered government but underpowered market in resource allocation and government underperformance in enforcing integrity and transparency in the marketplace and in providing public goods and services. At the nexus between inclusive growth and institutional transformation are market oriented and rule of law governed structural reforms and harmonious development. As such, fundamental institutional reforms that dialectically balance demand and supply side factors and properly weigh short run stabilization against long run development should be elevated to the top of the agenda.

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Structural Changes in High Dimensional Factor Models
Jushan Bai,Xu Han
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (1): 9-39.
摘要   PDF (311KB)

This paper provides a survey on recent developments in structural changes for high dimensional factor models. Compared with conventional low-dimensional time series, structural changes in factor models are more complicated due to the unobservability of factors and factor loadings. The following topics are covered in this survey: the identification conditions for the structural changes in the factor loadings, different impacts of big and small breaks in factor models, tests for structural changes in the factor loadings of a specific variable, tests for structural changes in the factor loading matrix, joint tests for structural changes in the factor loadings and coefficients in factor-augmented regressions, tests for smooth changes in the factor loadings, estimation of break dates, and model selection in factor models with structural changes via the shrinkage method.

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Redundancy of Moment Conditions in Restricted GMM Estimation
Hailong Qian
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (3): 468-497.
摘要   PDF (367KB)

Using a novel approach to calculating the rank of the difference of two asymptotic variance matrices, The author derives the necessary and sufficient conditions for an extra set of moment conditions to be redundant given a set of moment conditions in GMM estimation with general nonlinear restrictions. The necessary and sufficient conditions derived in this paper include as a special case the redundancy of moment conditions for GMM estimation without restrictions that was first derived by Breusch et al. (1999). Therefore this paper advances the research on redundancy of moment conditions from unrestricted GMM estimation to a larger class of GMM estimation. To show their usefulness, the main results of the current paper are applied to instrumental variables estimation of linear regression models and the efficient estimation of seemingly unrelated regressions models, subject to restrictions.

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Exchange Rate Flexibility and Current Account Adjustment: A Threshold VAR Analysis
Yu You,Zongye Huang,Yoonbai Kim
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (4): 635-667.
摘要   PDF (3721KB)

Global imbalances (current account imbalances) have become an important issue for economists and policy makers. Greater exchange rate flexibility is often suggested as a means to achieve faster and more efficient adjustment in the current account. However, previous empirical studies show little support for this hypothesis. This paper revisits this issue with a large panel dataset and a threshold VAR model and finds that (1) some existing popular exchange rate classifications may not capture actual exchange rate variability as well as expected; (2) Once exchange rate variability is correctly identified, the speed of mean reversion in the current account balance is indeed higher in a regime with greater exchange rate variability.

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An Empirical Test of the “Financial Accelerator” in China: Evidence from the Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database
Jie Chen,Zhe Li
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (3): 509-526.
摘要   PDF (943KB)

The purpose of this paper is to test the applicability of the “financial accelerator” mechanism to China. Using the Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database, we find strong evidence suggesting that the employment and investment of leveraged firms are less responsive to aggregate fluctuations. This finding goes against the implications of the “financial accelerator”. To make sure our empirical result is reliable, we have done several robustness checks using different estimation methods and subsamples.

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Foreword to “A Comparative Study of Two Global Crises”
Graham Allison, Lawrence Summers
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (3): 393-395.
摘要   PDF (157KB)
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A Syntactic Approach to Knowledge in Finite Games of Perfect Information
Wenzhang Zhang
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (3): 467-482.
摘要   PDF (239KB)

In this paper I present a syntactic approach to modeling the interactive knowledge of rationality in finite games of perfect information. This approach allows for a more transparent interpretation. In particular, we have the intuitive picture of viewing knowledge as the input and decisions as the output of a player’s deliberation. This distinction is blurred in the semantic state-space approach.

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China’s Growth Prospects
Robert Barro
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (2): 192-195.
摘要   PDF (143KB)

China’s diminished growth prospects are in the news and seem to spell bad news for just about everybody. This article assesses the evidence, arguing that China’s economic growth will be much slower from now on, reducing international trade. Perhaps the biggest challenge for China will be future political tensions in reconciling economic dreams with economic realities.

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The Determinants of Location Choices of China's ODI: Institutions, Taxation and Resources
Yongqin Wang,Julan Du,Kai Wang
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (3): 540-565.
摘要   PDF (647KB)

China has become the third largest source of outward direct investment (ODI). This paper studies how institutions in the host countries affect the location choices of China’s ODI. Based on a deal-level sample from 2002–2011, this paper empirically tests how political institutions, political stability, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and contrd of corruption in the host countries affect the location choices of China’s ODI. On top of these institutional factors, we study the effects of tax evasion and natural resources in host countries, and their interactions with institutional factors. We find that political institutions in the host countries are not major concerns of the ODI, while government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and control of corruption have significant effects on the locations of ODI. In addition, China’s ODI tends to avoid countries with strict legal systems. Tax evasion and resources are also major motives of China’s ODI. General institutional quality and tax evasion are substitutes in China’s ODI location decisions.

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Public Housing, School Segregation, and Children’s Education: Evidence from Hong Kong
Junjian Yi,Kee Lee Chou,Linda Yung,Junsen Zhang
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (3): 414-448.
摘要   PDF (2298KB)

Evidence in the literature shows that public-housing residents move less frequently than others. This tendency may restrict school choice for children from public-housing families and lead to school segregation and lower educational outcomes for those children. Our empirical findings from Hong Kong show three strands of evidence that support this hypothesis. (1) Children from public-housing families are more likely to drop out of school after compulsory education. The result is robust after controlling for family background and a series of parental characteristics. (2) Public-housing families with school-age children are less likely to move than their private-housing counterparts. (3) Children from public-housing families are more likely to study in local community schools, which are located on the outskirts of Hong Kong and are of lower education quality. These findings have important policy implications for the public-housing programs such as those which have been implemented in Mainland China since 2011.

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China Is Not yet Number One
Jeffrey Frankel
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (1): 1-6.
摘要   PDF (755KB)

Many claim that China will soon overtake the US. I argue that this claim is based on a misuse of statistics. The International Comparison Program (ICP) price data is necessary to compare living standards, since a dollar’s worth of yuan buys more in China than a dollar buys in the US. But the fact that rice and clothes are cheap in rural China does not make the Chinese economy larger. What matters for size in the world economy is how much a yuan can buy on world markets. Using the correct prices, the US remains the world’s largest economic power by a substantial margin.

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Understanding the Motivation of College Students to Volunteer: An Integrated Consumption/Investment Analysis
Peiguan Wu,Xiaoye Li,Xue Wang
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (4): 691-721.
摘要   PDF (1008KB)

This study examines the specific motivation of college students to volunteer, based on the interpretation of volunteering as entailing both consumption and investment. Analysis of micro-level data, collected in an online survey from non-volunteers and volunteers on the RenDa Economics Forum, one of the main social networking sites in China, and from volunteers at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 in China, provides strong support for consumption-related motivation. However, we find no clear statistical evidence for the validity of the investment motive. Volunteering activities are found to play no significant role in determining future income when compared to other factors, such as test scores, gender, age, parents’ education, job location, and the type of employer.

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Examining the Factors Affecting Personal Income: An Empirical Study Based on Survey Data in Chinese Cities
Lihui Wang, Junyi Shen
Frontiers of Economics in China    2017, 12 (4): 515-544.
摘要   PDF (441KB)

This paper empirically analyzes the factors affecting personal income in urban China using survey data of the “Preference and Life Satisfaction Survey” conducted by the Global COE project of Osaka University from 2009 to 2013. We consider education level as an endogenous variable, and both ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and instrumental variable (IV) regression are performed. We find a number of factors, such as sex, age, education, and marriage that significantly affect personal income. In addition, differences between different occupations are also investigated.

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Labour Markets in China: A Study of the Structure and Evolution of Wages
Xiaobing Wang,Jenifer Piesse,Zhengmao Ye
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (2): 265-301.
摘要   PDF (1055KB)

This paper examines the development of labour markets and the evolution of a structure of wages in China, using household surveys for 1988, 1995, 2002 and 2007. It finds evidence of both provincial and sectoral segmentation in labour markets, with eastern regions and the state-controlled sector enjoying high wage premiums in the early reform period. During the reform, China has progressed slowly towards an integrated labour market with convergence in incomes between the rural non-agriculture sector and the urban market-based sector by 1995, when industry flourished in the rural areas. The wage gap between the rural non-agriculture sector and other sectors increased and the urban state-controlled sector remained segmented with respect to all other sectors up to 2002. However, the data from 2007 show there has been increasing sectoral and spatial integration.

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Governance Reforms and Growth: Some Ideas from Economic Theory
Avinash Dixit
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (4): 567-584.
摘要   PDF (219KB)

Ideas from the theory of incentives and organization are deployed to examine how some aspects of economic governance—primarily protection of property rights, enforcement of contracts, and oversight regulation—can be improved for achieving better economic growth and development. Some suggestions for reform of governance institutions in developing countries are offered.

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A Biography of Gregory C. Chow
Ben Bernanke
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (3): 351-354.
摘要   PDF (148KB)
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Understanding China’s Foreign Trade Policy: A Literature Review
Tan Li,Larry Qiu,Ying Xue
Frontiers of Economics in China    2016, 11 (3): 410-438.
摘要   PDF (321KB)

China has continued to experience rapid growth in its foreign trade since the implementation of its reform and opening-up policies. In recent years, the country has become the world’s largest exporter and second largest importer of goods and commodities. China’s trade policy has also gradually been transforming from protectionism to open trade. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive survey on the literature of China’s trade policy. The review covers (1) export and import policies, (2) tariff and non-tariff barriers, and (3) policy effects and motivations behind the policy design. This paper also reports on important topics and issues that deserve more research attention.

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Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality: Evidence from the U.S. States
Xiaofeng Penny Li
Frontiers of Economics in China    2015, 10 (3): 527-539.
摘要   PDF (228KB)

This paper examines the relationship between trade liberalization and wage inequality for 50 U.S. states during the period from 1999 to 2008. The Difference-in-Differences and fixed effects methods are employed to evaluate the effect of trade liberalization on wage inequality in the U.S. states. Empirical results reveal that trade liberalization and de-unionization do increase the wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers. Evidence shows skill-biased technological change has no significant impact on rising wage inequality. As Difference-in-Differences estimation on time-series cross sectional data involves many years, the conventional standard errors often understate the standard deviation of the estimators. This paper employs the standard bootstrapping procedure and the clustering error procedure to correct the problem, and all sign patterns still hold.

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Rethinking Globalization in the Trump Era: US-China Relations
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Frontiers of Economics in China    2018, 13 (2): 133-146.
摘要   PDF (272KB)

The global economic and political order that was created in the aftermath of World War II is under attack by President Donald Trump. In this article, Nobel Prize Laureate Joseph Stiglitz discusses the scope for protectionist actions by President Trump and suggests how countries such as China could and should respond. In particular, he proposes a set of ten principles that should guide China’s response, principles designed to enhance a more stable and efficient multi-polar system of global governance that can contribute to a stronger global economy.

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Possibility of a Middle Income Trap in China: Assessment in Terms of the Literature on Innovation, Big Business and Inequality
Keun Lee,Shi Li
Frontiers of Economics in China    2014, 9 (3): 370-397.
摘要   PDF (386KB)

This paper discusses the possibility of China falling into the so-called middle income trap in terms of three checkpoints: innovation capability, world-class big businesses, and inequality. Based on these criteria, our conclusions are as follows: First, China has increasingly become innovative and thus differs from other middle income countries. Second, China has many successful big businesses, a number disproportionate to its size. Thus, China differs from other middle income countries with few world-class big businesses, and the only qualification is that those big businesses are mostly nonmanufacturing firms focused on such areas as finance, energy, and trading. Third, China faces great uncertainty in terms of inequality. Although several signs show that the Kuznets curve will come to represent China, as noted by the gradual reduction of surplus labor and rising wage rates starting in the coastal provinces, the Chinese are now facing new sources of inequality in China, such as wealth (including financial and real estate assets) and non-economic factors (including corruption).

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An Agenda for Reforming Economic Theory
Joseph E. Stiglitz
Frontiers of Economics in China    2019, 14 (2): 149-167.
摘要   PDF (220KB)

In this article, Nobel Prize Laureate Joseph Stiglitz argues that the standard macro-economic paradigm has failed not only to predict the crisis but also to provide insights into the design of a regulatory framework that would make a recurrence less likely. He points out that many of the underlying assumptions of the standard paradigm always seemed implausible and many of its predictions, such as those concerning the micro-economic behavior of the constituents (firms and households), are inconsistent with the empirical evidence. He then identifies a number of key modeling challenges, what he views as key ingredients that have to be incorporated in any model that is going to describe economic fluctuations or be the basis of a well-designed regulatory or monetary framework.

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