Frontiers of Economics in China

ISSN 1673-3444

ISSN 1673-3568(Online)

CN 11-5744/F

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The Causal Relationship between Equipment Investment and Infrastructures on Economic Growth in China
Maria Jesus Herrerias
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 509-526.

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There is agreement in the literature on economic growth concerning the transitory effects of capital accumulation on the process of economic development. However, controversy arises if this effect is permanent. In this sense, the key point is the embodied technological progress and whether supply factors predominate among the determinants of capital accumulation. Only in this case should expect long-run effects of capital accumulation on economic growth. Inspired by this idea, I focus the study on two elements accounting for economic development—equipment investment and productive infrastructure and I also analyze the type of the empirical relationship that exists between them. The results indicate that equipment investment and infrastructures have played a significant role in accounting for long-run growth in China. However, I do not find empirical evidence supporting any relationship between the two types of investment. In addition, I find that foreign trade has stimulated output and equipment investment in the long run. Finally, it is found that innovation activities encourage equipment investment in the long run.

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The Impact of Volatility on Growth in China
James Laurenceson
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 527-536.

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China’s path to emerging as the world’s second largest economy has not been a smooth one. This paper considers whether the volatility of growth has had an impact on the trend rate of growth. In doing so it aims to promote a better understanding of the determinants of China’s impressive trend rate of growth and also shed light on questions such as whether the trend rate of growth might have been even higher had the government and central bank been better able to offset volatility. Utilizing a GARCH-M model, the results of the empirical analysis suggest that the impact of volatility has been either positive or insignificant, but not negative.

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ChinHow R&D Investments Influence TFP Growth: Evidence from China’s Large and Medium- Sized Industrial Enterprises
Liqun Zhou, Liangke Xia
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 537-558.

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This paper investigates the potential channels through which R&D may influence TFP growth using industry-level panel data of China’s large and medium-sized industrial enterprises over the period of 2000–2007. Comparing with existing literature, we provide a closer look of the relationship between R&D and TFP growth by decomposing TFP growth into efficiency change and technical change components using Malmquist productivity index and distinguishing between upstream R&D spillovers and downstream R&D spillovers. We find TFP grow slightly during 2000–2007, and R&D investment indeed serves as an engine of productivity growth just as endogenous growth theories argued, which is largely because R&D accelerates technical progress even it also results in enlarging technical inefficiency. However, we find a robust negative effect of downstream R&D spillovers on TFP growth, the effects of upstream is positive but not statistically significant. In addition, we do not find the positive effects of human capital on TFP as endogenous growth theories indicated, but find human capital severs as “assimilation device” for R&D spillovers both in promoting TFP growth and increasing technical efficiency even the effects on technical progress is adverse.

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Analysis on the Disparity in Economic Growth and Consumption between Urban Sector and Rural Sector of China: 1978–2008
Yue Li
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 559-581.

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This paper designs a theoretical model of excess per-capita income growth and brings forward such indices as excess per-capita income, per-capita base consumption and decreasing factor as well as the corresponding measurement methods. It studies from a brand new aspect the disparity between the economic growth in urban sector and rural sector of China in the past 30 years after the reform and opening-up, together with the disparity between the effects of such growth on consumption. The research results show that: At present the problem of the duality of urban and rural sector of China is still serious; the impaired amount of economic growth in urban sector is larger than that in rural sector while the impairing strength in rural sector is higher than that in urban sector; and it is vital to increase the excess per-capita investment in rural sector in order to effectively strengthen consumption related policies. Therefore, promoting urbanization but reasonably controlling the urbanization progress while strengthening the infrastructure construction in rural areas would be the efficient approach to reduce the impairing strength over the economic growth, to build up consumption market, to improve the duality of economy and to realize sustainable development.

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Ownership and Earnings Inequality in Urban China
Jin Song, Shi Li
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 582-603.

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Along with advances in urban state-owned enterprise reform, fast growth of private sector and changes in the wage structure, earnings inequality in urban China has been increasing. Using data from the 1988 and 2007 waves of the urban household survey conducted by China Household Income Project, this paper attempts to examine the impact of the change in ownership structure on earnings distribution in urban China. We find that developing non-state-owned enterprises (nonSOEs) or privatization of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) enlarge earnings inequality, but the difference in earnings level between the two sectors is small. Although workers in SOEs receive higher income than in nonSOEs, the difference is more caused by endowment difference rather than coefficient differences. Introducing market power to wage determination system is more influential to the rising earnings inequality which leads more rewards on working experience and educational attainment.

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A Synthesized Discussion on the Macao Monetary Reform
Xinhua Gu
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 604-621.

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The prolonged RMB appreciation affects Macao deeply and requires a major monetary reform without further delay. What we propose for Macao reform as an optimal choice includes shifting its monetary anchor to the strong RMB, revaluing its domestic currency to the original level, and setting up a sovereign wealth fund for autonomous growth. This proposal is based on Macao’s economic fundamentals such as trade competitiveness, business relations, real welfare, monetary stability, and genuine development. We also recommend a monetary union of Macao with Hong Kong as the 2nd-best choice of reform by introducing what we term the SAR dollar.

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Capital Liquidity and Residents’ Consumption Decision: An Asymmetry Analysis of Economic Prosperity
Xuanhua Xu, Bin Pan
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 622-639.

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Among the current literatures that discuss the influence exerted on residents’ consumption behavior by capital liquidity, some often independently decide the demarcation point of the liquidity restriction that affects residents’ consumption behavior, without taking into account when the economy is flourishing whether residents will be influenced by the restriction of the liquidity that their consumption behaviors can not be fully carried out. We introduce a threshold model which varies according to the actual GDP and other financial indicators (money supply, average stock index and balance of bank loans) to discuss residents’ consumption behavior in China under different economic states. The empirical results show that when the economy flourishes or resuscitates, residents’ income of the same period have not notable influence on their consumption, which suggests that residents’ consumption behavior does not considerably change according to the fluctuation of the current income, but conforms with the constant income-life cycle hypothesis. Moreover, two estimated values 0.7504 and 0.8597, as economic boom measures, all fall in the boom stable stage—basically consists with the early-warning index of the macro-economy boom issued by National Bureau of Statistics of China. It shows that the macro-economic boom is not notablely influenced by capital liquidity, so is residents’ consumption behavior.

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Institutional Constraints, Double Imbalances and Policy Option—Global Financial Crisis and China’s Fiscal Policy
Wei Lü, Yun Zeng
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 640-656.

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With the enormous development of China’s economy, we re-implement the proactive fiscal policy not only to response to the global financial crisis, but also to take advantage of the opportunity to resolve the institutional constraints, transform China’s economic growth pattern, keep stability and promote the sustainable growth of the economy. So the goal of fiscal policy should weigh easing the economic crisis against long-term stability and the development of economy. The past experiences of fiscal policy practices in China indicate that the traditional simple counter-cyclical fiscal policy may be able to pull the economy out of recession, but it has little effect on automatic recovery of the economy. Therefore, the fiscal policies need to hang on the entire reform process and the whole economic structure adjustment. This paper firstly reveals the root of “double imbalances” and institutional constraints, then analyzes the paradox between such constraints, and discusses the space of positive fiscal policy.

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Labor Theory of Value and the Uncertainty in Capitalist Economy
Jie Meng
Front Econ Chin. 2010, 5 (4): 657-676.

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This article aims to offer a reply to Steedman’s critique of Marx’s labor theory of value. Although this critique having been there for about three decades, the anti-critiques from Marxists are up to date flawed with fatal limitation, losing sight of an important dimension of labor theory of value, i.e., without taking it as a theoretical tool of understanding the uncertainty rooted in capitalist mode of production. The first part of this article reviews the controversy initiated by Steedman. Part 2 discusses Marx’s dual theory of market value and Rubin’s interpretation. Our view is that, if Rubin’s interpretation is accepted, a refutation of Steedman’s critique towards Marx will be impossible. Part 3 of this article explores the possible reconstruction of market value in the perspective of the dynamics in the pivoting of market value. We concludes that, the relationship between the standard condition of production and value is not, as argued by Steedman, of deterministic and one-directional character. For Marx, labor theory of value is applied to analyze the uncertain relation between the means and the end, the condition and the result of capitalist production. Meanwhile, another reply is attempted towards the negative comment on labor theory of value made by contemporary evolutionary economist such as Hodgson. In our view, Marx’s labor theory of value is not irrelevant as claimed by Hodgson to the main topics of evolutionary economics such as variety and “natural selection.” It is through labor theory of value that Marx explains the co-evolution of technology and economy.

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