Frontiers of Economics in China

ISSN 1673-3444

ISSN 1673-3568(Online)

CN 11-5744/F

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Research articles
Banking structure and economic growth: Evidence from China
Justin Yifu LIN, Xifang SUN,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 479-504.

Abstract   PDF (561KB)
With panel data for 28 Chinese provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) during 1985–2002, this paper assesses the effect of banking structure on economic growth. Banking structure is defined as the relative importance of banks of different size in the banking sector. The market share of small banking institutions is taken as a proxy to measure the banking structure. In dealing with the potential endogeneity problem, this paper constructs an instrumental variable for banking structure with the information on the commercialization reform of state-owned banks initiated in 1994. The estimation results from a two-way fixed-effect model show that increases in the market share of small banking institutions enhance economic growth in contemporary China.
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Government expenditure, taxation and long-run growth
YAN Chengliang, GONG Liutang,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 505-525.

Abstract   PDF (521KB)
This paper assesses the effect of fiscal policy on economic growth in an AK model with endogenous labor supply. It is found that the structure of taxation and government expenditure could affect the long-run growth rate through their effect on households’ labor-leisure choice, saving-consuming choice and the proportion of government expenditure to GDP. Barro’s (1990) plausible result that the growth rate and the income tax rate have an inverted-U relationship does not always hold. In addition, based on the panel data of 31 provinces from 1997 to 2007, we investigate the link between components of government productive expenditure and economic growth. It is found that the productive expenditure does not always have a positive effect on the growth rate, and its effect exhibits regional differences. The reason is that there is an excess amount of the government productive expenditure in China or the efficiency of the government productive expenditure may be too low.
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An inquiry into the causes of inadequate household consumption in China—An analysis based on provincial data of urban and rural China
FANG Fuqian,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 526-547.

Abstract   PDF (615KB)
This paper uses Chinese urban and rural panel data for 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities (except Tibet and Taiwan) on the consumption of Chinese urban and rural households in 1995–2005, by constructiong a random effect model, to analyze the impact of sources of household’s consumption demand on the Chinese economy. The quantitative analysis reveals that the per capita disposable income of households is highly relevant in explaining households’ per capita consumption expenditure, in these eleven years, and that China’s consumption function was fairly stable. On the basis of flow of funds accounts (barter transaction) data in 1992–2004, the paper further reveals that, since 1997–1998, China’s consumer demand remains in the doldrums because of the following distribution and redistribution process of the national income: The Government’s share of total income and disposable income is becoming ever larger, while the share of households is declining. Aside from the result that a rise in the burden of personal tuition has a negative impact on per capita consumption demand for urban households, we have not found that housing reform or medical expenses significantly reduce consumer demand in China. We believe that low household consumption demand is caused mainly by the income redistribution between households, government, and corporations rather than the inequality in income distribution across households.
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Engine or drag: Can high energy consumption and CO2 emission drive the sustainable development of Chinese industry?
CHEN Shiyi,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 548-571.

Abstract   PDF (578KB)
To analyze China industrial sustainable development featured with high energy consumption and high CO2 emission, this paper constructs the input and output panel data of China’s 38 sub-industries, estimates their productivity and carries out the green growth accounting based on translog production function. This paper concludes that, as a whole, China industry has achieved the transformation from extensive to intensive growth, with the productivity to be the first driving force, that is necessary to sustainable development in the long run. In addition to technical progress, energy and capital have also been driving the industrial growth during the sample period, while labor and emission made less even negative contribution to it. Some heavy industries, however, are still characterized by extensive growth and must improve their energy-save and emission-abate technology to favor the sustainable development of overall Chinese industry.
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Is China’s inflation pushed by wages? An empirical research based on excess wages
FAN Zhiyong,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 572-587.

Abstract   PDF (478KB)
Whether China’s inflation since 2007 is demand-pull or cost-push has become the study focus. Different opinions about the originations of the inflation indicate different policies against further inflation. VAR research based on the import price, money supply, excess wage and inflation rate finds that money supply instead of excess wage has made the most contribution for current inflation since 2000. Further evidence from sectoral data also confirms the conclusion of the VAR research. So there was no “wage-inflation” vicious circle in China during 2000–2007.
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Local government expenditure, RBC model and regional business cycle in China—Take Tianjin for example
YANG Guang,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 588-600.

Abstract   PDF (559KB)
In this paper, the actual economy in Tianjin Municipal city are simulated with RBC model through introducing local government expenditure. From the works review and stylized facts, it is easy to find that government expenditure will have important influence on economy. Then this paper provides new evidence to support this judgment by DCC theory. After concluding the stylized facts of Tianjin city, a regional RBC model with local government expenditure is developed. Next, this paper starts to solve this RBC model, get log-linearization of the solution and estimate all parameters. A program on Matlab is made to simulate actual economy in Tianjin city with this RBC model. The result is the RBC model with local government expenditure has better performance than that without local government expenditure. Therefore, it will be necessary to consider local government expenditure, if regional economy is researched.
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“Fertility effect” or “supporting effect?” —Quantity of children and parental health
CHEN Guodong, LEI Xiaoyan,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 601-616.

Abstract   PDF (397KB)
Using the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, we try to identify the effect that quantity of children has on the health statuses of elderly parents. After dealing with a potential endogeneity problem using instrumental variable estimation, we find no significant long-arm “fertility effect,” but do find a positive “supporting effect” of the quantity of children on parental health. That is, giving birth to more children has no significant effect, but the availability of additional children in old age has a beneficial effect on health during that time. Further investigation yields a more significant effect on mothers than on fathers, and a more pronounced effect on cognitive health than on physical health, as measured by occurrences of hypertension.
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The factors that impact income inequality of rural residents in China: Decomposing the Gini coefficient from income components
ZHOU Yunbo,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 617-632.

Abstract   PDF (429KB)
This paper attempts to explore the causes behind the change of the inequality in China rural areas at the very beginning of this century by decomposing the inequality of the total per capita income into the contributions from different income components. Furthermore, we develop the decomposition method of Gini coefficients from the income components and use it not only in the static analysis but also in comparative static analysis. Namely it can be used to explore the change of the overall inequality by decomposing the change of Gini Coefficient from income components. The empirical results show that the wage from local employment, the income from agricultural household business and the incomes from non-agricultural household business are the three income components that made the largest contributions to the inequality of the total per capita income. The total contribution to the overall inequality of non-agricultural incomes was much more than that of agricultural incomes. The incomes from agricultural household business, the incomes from non-agricultural household business and the wages from migration made the positive impact on the increase of the overall inequality. The incomes donated by relatives and friends made the most important negative impact on the increase of the overall inequality.
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Chinese agricultural development in 30 years: A literature review
YU Xiaohua, ZHAO Guoqing,
Front. Econ. China. 2009, 4 (4): 633-648.

Abstract   PDF (380KB)
This paper reviews the current literature on Chinese agricultural growth in the past three decades, and finds that fertilizers, price reforms, human capital growth, and demographic changes are the main factors for the continuous growth of agricultural outputs and farmer income. The costs for the growth include severe environmental pollutions and the incoming population aging which should be cured in order to achieve a sustainable growth.
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9 articles