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  • Author: Agata Antkiewicz, John Whalley
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre for International Governance Innovation
  • Abstract: We discuss recent regional trade and economic partnership agreements involving the large population, rapidly growing economies (BRICSAM: Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa, ASEAN, and Mexico). Perhaps 50 out of 300 agreements that exist worldwide involve BRICSAM countries; most are recently concluded and will be implemented over the next few years. Along with extensive bilateral investment treaties, mutual recognition agreements, and other country to country (or region) arrangements they are part of what we term the non-WTO. This paper aims to document and characterize the agreements and analyze their possible impacts. Agreements differ in specificity, coverage and content. In some treaties there are detailed and specific commitments, but these also co-exist with seemingly vague commitments and (at times) opaque dispute settlement and enforcement mechanisms. Whether these represent a partial replacement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) process for newly negotiated reciprocity based on global trade liberalization or largely represent diplomatic protocol alongside significant WTO disciplines is the subject of this paper.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, India, Asia, South Africa, Brazil, Mexico
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Yin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper proposes a semi-parametric method for poverty decomposition, which combines the data-generating procedure of Shorrocks and Wan (2004) with the Shapley value framework of Shorrocks (1999). Compared with the popular method of Datt and Ravallion (1992), our method is more robust to misspecification errors, does not require the predetermination of functional forms, provides better fit to the underlying Lorenz curve and incorporates the residual term in a rigorous way. The method is applied to decomposing variations of urban poverty across the Chinese provinces into three components – contributions by the differences in average nominal income, inequality and poverty line. The results foreground average income as the key determinant of poverty incidence, but also attach importance to the influence of distribution. The regional pattern of the decomposition suggests provincial groupings based not entirely on geographical locations.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Poverty
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Kun-Chin Lin
  • Publication Date: 03-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Kellogg Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This essay argues that crosscutting allegiances between managers and workers, and between existing workers and ex-workers, have formed strong social and psychological bases for sustained collective action and inaction during a period of organizational transformation in contemporary China. This thesis challenges the conventional wisdom that implies either class formation during marketization or the failure of such as an explanation for the alleged limits of the working class in mobilizing to defend its social contract against the central state. Through in-depth case studies of Chinese oilfields and refineries, I identify patterns of fragmentation deriving from intergenerational differences among the workers, managerial incentive structures, and the continuing reworking of patron-client relations between subgroups of workers and managers. I conclude that managers' and workers' passive and active responses to the state's rapid dismantling of the socialist notion of “class” in a self-sufficient work unit have placed a tangible social limit on authoritarian institutional innovation.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, Government
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: John W. Schindler, Dustin H. Beckett
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: Hong Kong plays a prominent role as a re-exporter of a large percentage of trade bound for or coming from China. Current reporting practices in China and its trading partners do not fully reflect this role and therefore provide a misleading picture of the origin or ultimate destination of Chinese exports and imports. We adjust bilateral trade data for both China and its trading partners to correct for this problem. We also correct for differences due to markups in Hong Kong and different standards for reporting trade (c.i.f. versus f.o.b.). For 2003, we estimate that China's overall trade surplus was between $53 billion and $126 billion, larger than that reported in official Chinese data, but smaller than that reported by China's trading partners. We also provide evidence that, in general, the actual origin of a good that is transshipped through Hong Kong is correctly reported by the importing country, but the final destination of such goods is not correctly reported by the exporting country.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Hong Kong
  • Author: Jaime Marquez, Mario Marazzi, Nathan Sheets, Joseph Gagnon, Robert J. Vigfusson, Jon Faust, Robert F. Martin, Trevor Reeve, John Rogers
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: This paper documents a sustained decline in exchange rate pass-through to U.S. import prices, from above 0.5 during the 1980s to somewhere in the neighborhood of 0.2 during the last decade. This decline in the pass-through coefficient is robust to the measure of foreign prices that is included in the regression (i.e., CPI versus PPI), whether the estimation is done in levels or differences, and whether U.S. prices are included as an explanatory variable. Notably, the largest estimates of pass-through are obtained when commodity prices are excluded from the regression. In this case, the pass-through coefficient captures both the direct effect of the exchange rate on import prices and an indirect effect operating through changes in commodity prices. Our work indicates that an increasing share of exchange rate pass-through has occurred through this commodity-price channel in recent years. While the source of the decline in passthrough is difficult to pin down with certainty, our work points to several factors, including the reduced share of (commodity-intensive) industrial supplies in U.S. imports and the increased presence of Chinese exporters in U.S. markets. We detect a particular step down in the passthrough coefficient around the time of the Asian financial crisis and document a shift in the export pricing behavior of emerging Asian firms around that time.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China
  • Author: Albert Keidel
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Abstract: In Washington, politicians and pundits have settled on a single magical solution for the country's economic ills: getting China to revalue its currency, the RMB. By any reasonable economic measure, however, the RMB is not undervalued. China does have a trade surplus with the United States, but it has a trade deficit with the rest of the world. And China's accumulation of dollar reserves is not the result of trade surpluses, but of large investment inflows caused in part by speculators' betting that China will yield to U.S. pressure. Focusing on China's currency is a distraction. If the United States wants to improve its economy for the long haul, it had best look elsewhere beginning with raising the productivity of American workers.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, China, America, Washington, Asia
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 02-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: The average forecast for 2005 U.S. growth is 3.5 percent, with some prognosticators hoping for 4 percent. This forecast is predicated upon the assumption that the economy is on a sustainable expansion path, where consumption will be supported by steady growth of employment and household incomes. The 3.5 percent growth forecast for 2005 is identical to the mean growth rate of the U.S. economy since 1947. However, there is good reason to believe that the consensus forecast is too high. This possibility has important consequences because U.S. growth must be sustained at least at average levels to avoid a sharp drop in global growth. There are no signs of higher growth in Europe and Asia. Growth in Japan is looking weaker, while Chinese growth is moderating.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Europe, Asia
  • Author: Robert W. Hahn
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: With oil and gas prices at record levels, Persian Gulf producers threatened by terrorists, and exploding demand from China likely to strain supplies for years to come, surely it is time for Washington to get serious about energy conservation. Well, yes . . . and no. While most economists (including me) are deeply skeptical about the value of government mandates for energy efficiency, in principle there is a case to be made for using taxes to “internalize” the costs of consumption that are not otherwise reflected in prices. But those costs are lower than you might expect—lower, perhaps, than the taxes currently charged at the pump. Moreover, while oil-security worries are now driving the calls for conservation, a careful look suggests that the neglected costs are actually related to traffic congestion and the threat of global warming. Taxing oil consumption (as opposed to taxing road use or carbon emissions) would hardly get to the roots of these problems.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Energy Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: China, Washington
  • Author: Adam Lerrick
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: World Bank money is building schools in China's impoverished western provinces, but the bill for interest charges is being mailed to the United Kingdom, attention Chancellor of Exchequer Gordon Brown. Mexico, Chile, and Brazil will soon be lining up for the same deal. This is but the latest scheme designed to preserve the World Bank's lending role at a time when the need and demand for its services are falling. Major middle-income countries, the cream of the bank's lending portfolio and where more than 80 percent of Latin Americans live, are curbing their borrowing and paying down their balances, setting off alarms at the bank. Net loan flows have shifted from a positive $10 billion in 1999–2001, to a negative $15 billion in 2002–2004.
  • Topic: Debt, Development, Economics, Third World
  • Political Geography: China, United Kingdom, Brazil, Latin America, Mexico, Chile
  • Author: R. Glenn Hubbard
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Ceremonial gift-giving is an integral part of doing business in China. The value lies not so much in the gift (whose packaging is often more elaborate), but in the possibility of cementing a mutually beneficial relationship. And so it was a few weeks ago with the headline-grabbing announcement that China would revalue the yuan against the U.S. dollar. The modest gesture may make more possible a comprehensive economic dialogue between China and the United States in the interest of both nations. The announcement on July 21 by the People's Bank of China that it would revalue the yuan, abandoning the eleven-year-old peg of 8.28 yuan per U.S. dollar, caught financial markets by surprise. The jolt led market participants to gauge effects of current (and perhaps future) revaluations on currency values and interest rates. And, some U.S. political leaders claimed a victory in the campaign to blame Chinese “market manipulation” for external imbalances facing the United States.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Phillip L. Swagel
  • Publication Date: 06-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: If China decides to adopt a flexible exchange rate, as many U.S. policymakers have urged, gains in U.S. exports and national savings in the long term will be offset by higher prices on Chinese goods and higher interest rates in the short term.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: James R. Lilley
  • Publication Date: 04-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Nationalistic competition between Japan and China could undermine progress on economic and security concerns in east Asia. U.S. diplomacy has an important role in preventing that.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Asia
  • Author: Robert Kapp
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Peter Bottelier, the principal presenter of this topic, opened by noting that much discussion now surrounds the evolving “new line” embodied in China's economic plans for the next five years. The three agricultural questions, self-innovation, regional adjustment, opening up of a win-win “harmonious society,” and economizing on energy use: what do these and other much-discussed new terms really mean?
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Thomas Rawski
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: Beginning with the start of reform in the late 1970s, China's industry has recorded impressive growth of output, labor productivity, and exports as well as dramatic upgrading of the quality and variety of output. These gains have occurred in spite of difficulties arising from lethargic state enterprises, inadequate corporate governance, excessive official intervention, corruption, and weak financial institutions.
  • Topic: Economics, Industrial Policy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Kenneth Lieberthal
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: This article seeks to examine two key issues that will be major drivers of consumption in China over the coming five years: urbanization and environmental amelioration. Whether the issues identified will be the largest factors over this time frame remains unclear, but each of these two areas warrants considerable attention as a very significant contributor to the future of consumer demand in China.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Arthur R. Kroeber
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: China's impressive economic growth of the past quarter century (9.4 percent average annual real GDP growth between 1980 and 2004, by official figures) is not miraculous; on the contrary, it can largely be explained by conventional models of economic development.
  • Topic: Economics, Human Welfare, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Joseph Fewsmith
  • Publication Date: 12-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Atlantic Council
  • Abstract: China has now sustained two and a half decades of high-speed growth. This growth has been even faster with regard to exports and China's role in international trade. Domestically, a capitalist tendency seems to be everywhere, while internationally the rise of China, whether peaceful or not, seems – at least to some – to threaten Western jobs, prosperity, and the international order. The focus of this paper, however, is not this question of whether or how China poses a threat to the West but rather an old (but new) question of how this “capitalist” conversion is compatible with the continued rule of a communist party. This is a question of considerable practical import, as people contemplate what the continued growth of the Chinese economy might mean for the political stability of that country, but it is also a question of considerable theoretical import: Leninist parties that sought to “include” external interests, it was argued, are on the way to collapse. It is only a matter of time. The time frame for China has lasted longer than theoreticians had supposed, though they might yet prove to be right – perhaps the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has lasted longer than people imagined but it might still be on the road to collapse. This point of view would find supporters, both in the West and in China, but even if they prove right, it is important to inquire more deeply about what is going on in China, whether institutions are being created, and if so whether they might provide a foundation for a post-communist China or whether they suggest a more chaotic future.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: China is the world's sixth largest economy and its most populous country, home to 1.3 billion people or 21% of the Earth's total population. But it faces a major challenge in providing its people with food – China has only 10% of the world's arable land and only one quarter of the average world water resources per person.
  • Topic: Agriculture, Civil Society, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: Brazil is a major player in the global economy, one of the world's 10 largest economies, with a population of 180 million and vast natural resources. Brazil's agricultural land is exceeded only by China, Australia and the United States, and agriculture plays an important role in the country's economy. Primary agriculture accounts for 8% of GDP, while agricultural products account for about 30% of exports.
  • Topic: International Relations, Agriculture, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Brazil, South America, Australia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: China's economic reforms over the past two decades have brought remarkable growth, the development of a vibrant private sector and significant reform of the state-owned sector. Private businesses now represent some 57% of GDP, and productivity in the state-owned sector has improved significantly. However, a number of problems threaten to undermine prospects for sustainable growth. These notably include social tensions, partly due to increasing inequality within society and massive migration to the cities, but also linked to corruption, insufficient public services and rising unemployment as millions of workers have been laid off in the reform of the state-owned sector, while agriculture still displays huge structural under-employment.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: China's economic growth has averaged 9½% per cent over the past two decades. The rapid pace of economic change is likely to be sustained for some time. These gains have contributed not only to higher personal incomes, but also to a significant reduction in poverty. At the same time, the economy has become substantially integrated with the world economy. A large part of these gains have come through profound shifts in government policies. Reforms have allowed market prices and private investors to play a significant role in production and trade.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Richard B. Freeman
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: In 1985, the global economic world (N. America, S. America, Western Europe, Japan, Asian Tigers, Africa) consisted of 2.5 billion people. In 2000 as a result of the collapse of communism, India's turn from autarky, China's shift to market capitalism, global economy encompassed 6 billion people. Had China, India, and the former Soviet empire stayed outside, global economy would have had 3.3 billion.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: Africa, Japan, China, America, India, Asia, Western Europe
  • Author: Adam S. Posen
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Japan's recovery is strong. Real GDP growth will exceed 4 percent this year and likely be 3 percent or higher in 2005 and perhaps even 2006. The Japanese economy has been growing solidly for the last five quarters (average real 3.2 percent annualized rate), and the pace is sustainable, given Japan's underlying potential growth rate (which has risen to 2 to 2.5 percent per year) and the combination of catch-up growth closing the current output gap and some reforms that will raise the growth rate for quarters to come (though not permanently). Indicators of domestic demand beyond capital investment are increasingly positive, including housing starts bottoming out, inventories drawing down, and diminished deflation. Moreover, on the external side, while China was the main source of export growth in 2003, the composition of exports has become more balanced this year and is widening beyond that seen in other recoveries. Just as in the United States and other developed economies, a sharp slowdown in Chinese growth and a sustained further increase in energy prices represent the primary risks to the outlook.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: United States, Japan, China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: During the past year, there has been considerable debate about, and much international criticism of, China's exchange rate and its currency regime. Yes, criticism of China in the United States would likely be more muted if the ongoing recovery were not so “jobless,” if employment in the US manufacturing sector had not (mainly for other reasons) declined so much in the three-year run-up to this presidential elect ion year, if so much attention were not focused on the very large bilateral US trade deficit with China instead of China's economically—more meaningful overall balance-of-payments position, and if the United States had not done such a poor job of improving its saving-investment imbalance—particularly in the public sector.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Diana Hochraich
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Centre d'Etudes et de Recherches Internationales
  • Abstract: Since their economic development got under way, the ASEAN countries - which essentially manufacture labour-intensive products - have been marked by strong regional integration brought about by the segmentation of the production process engaged in by Japanese companies. In these countries, successive relocations resulted in de facto economic integration at a time when various political groupings intent on blocking the development of communism were also emerging. Since joining the WTO, China - the world's workshop - has become the hub for trade with the developed countries. In the face of such competition, the ASEAN countries will have to show their capacity to maintain their position in the value chain represented by the production of all of the Asian countries.
  • Topic: Economics, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Zhao Chen, Ming Lu
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: China's recent accession to the WTO is expected to accelerate its integration into the world economy, which aggravates concerns over the impact of globalization on the already rising inter-region income inequality in China. This paper discusses China's globalization process and estimates an income generating function, incorporating trade and FDI variables. It then applies the newly developed Shapley value decomposition technique to quantify the contributions of globalization, along with other variables, to regional inequality. It is found that (a) globalization constitutes a positive and substantial share to regional inequality and the share rises over time; (b) capital is one of the largest and increasingly important contributor to regional inequality; (c) economic reform characterized by privatization exerts a significant impact on regional inequality; and (d) the relative contributions of education, location, urbanization and dependency ratio to regional inequality have been declining.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Yin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy underwent cyclical fluctuations in growth and inflation in the reform period. Contrasting views exist on the role of money in such fluctuations. This paper assesses these views employing structural VEC models based on the exchange equation. It is found that in the long run money accommodates, rather than causes, changes in output and prices. In the short run, price fluctuations are mostly attributable to shocks that have permanent effects on prices and money but not on real output. These shocks also account for a large proportion of fluctuations in money, and strongly influence the movements of output.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Yin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper proposes a structural VAR model which extends the frameworks of Hoffmaister and Roldós (2001) and Prasad (1999). The model is then used to analyse the sources of China's trade balance fluctuations in the period of 1985–2000. Efforts are made to distinguish the forces which underlie the long-run trend in trade balance from those with transitory impacts. The effects of four types of shock are examined—the foreign supply shock, the domestic supply shock, the relative demand shock, and the nominal shock. Among other findings, two emerge as important. First, the movements in China's trade are largely the result of real shocks. Second, the Renminbi is undervalued, yet changes in the exchange rate bear little on the trade balance. Therefore, monetary measures would not suffice to redress China's trade 'imbalance'.
  • Topic: Economics, Emerging Markets, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Yin Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper represents a first attempt to study China's business cycles using a formal analytical framework, namely, a structural VAR model. It is found that: (a) demand shocks were the dominant source of macroeconomic fluctuations, but supply shocks had gained more importance over time; (b) the driving forces of demand shocks were consumption and fixed investment in the first cycle of 1985–90, but shifted to fixed investment and world demand in the second cycle of 1991–96 and the post-1997 deflation period; and (c) macroeconomic policies did not play an important part either in initiating or counteracting cyclical fluctuations.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Emerging Markets
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: John Knight, Li Shi, Zhao Renwei
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Two precisely comparable national household surveys relating to 1988 and 1995 are used to analyse changes in the inequality of income in urban China. Over those seven years province mean income per capita grew rapidly but diverged across provinces, whereas intra-province income inequality grew rapidly but converged across provinces. The reasons for these trends are explored by means of various forms of decomposition analysis. Comparisons are also made between the coastal provinces and the inland provinces. The decompositions show the central role of wages, and within wages profitrelated bonuses, together with the immobility of labour across provinces, in explaining mean income divergence. The timing of economic reforms helps to explain the convergence of intra-province income inequality. Policy conclusions are drawn.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Guanghua Wan, Zhangyue Zhou
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: A considerable literature exists on the measurement of income inequality in China and its increasing trend. Much less is known, however, about the driving forces of this trend and their quantitative contributions. Conventional decompositions, by factor components or by population subgroups, only provide limited information on the determinants of income inequality. This paper represents an early attempt to apply the regression-based decomposition framework to the study of inequality accounting in rural China, using household level data. It is found that geography has been the dominant factor but is becoming less important in explaining total inequality. Capital input emerges as a most significant determinant of income inequality. Farming structure is more important than labour and other inputs in contributing to income inequality across households.
  • Topic: Demographics, Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Ravi Kanbur, Xiaobo Zhang
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper constructs and analyses a long-run time-series for regional inequality in China from the Communist Revolution to the present. There have been three peaks of inequality in the last fifty years, coinciding with the Great Famine of the late 1950s, the Cultural Revolution of the late 1960s and 1970s, and finally the period of openness and global integration in the late 1990s. Econometric analysis establishes that regional inequality is explained in the different phases by three key policy variables; the ratio of heavy industry to gross output value, the degree of decentralization, and the degree of openness.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Industrial Policy, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Dic Lo, Yuk-Shing Cheng
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Oriental and African Studies - University of London
  • Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, China's state leadership has adopted a policy of nurturing the competitiveness of large state-owned industrial enterprises. The implications of this policy have been a matter of debate in the literature. This paper seeks to provide some useful input into the debate. With a view of investigating into the potential of long-term development of large enterprises, we estimate the “sequential production technology” in computing the Malmquist productivity index for various size-groups of enterprises in Chinese industry. Our findings indicate that large enterprises did register the fastest productivity growth and improvement in technical efficiency in the 1994-97 period. It thus appears that large-scale, mainly state-owned Chinese enterprises have exhibited the potential of m a king noticeable improvements and the relevant state policy does have its justification.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Dic Lo
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: School of Oriental and African Studies - University of London
  • Abstract: Using a range of specifications that are standard in the relevant literature, this paper finds that China's rapid and sustained economic growth in the reform era has tended to be negatively correlated with its export growth and positively correlated with its import growth. This finding runs counter to widely -held perceptions on China's nexus of foreign trade and economic growth, and thus presents a serious challenge for interpretation. On the basis of some further regression analyses, and drawing on a number of applied studies on the subject matter, the paper argues that the finding is plausible and of complex ramifications. The conclusion which this paper arrives at, therefore, is that the Chinese experience has tended to be a case of strategic integration into the world market, rather than conforming to the standard neoclassical thesis of trade regime neutrality.
  • Topic: International Relations, Development, Economics, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Steven B. Kamin, Mario Marazzi, John W. Schindler
  • Publication Date: 01-2004
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: U.S. Government
  • Abstract: In the past few years, observers increasingly have pointed to China as a source of downward pressure on global prices. This paper evaluates the theoretical and empirical evidence bearing on the question of whether China's buoyant export growth has led to significant changes in the inflation performance of its trading partners. This evidence suggests that the impact of Chinese exports on global prices has been, while non-negligible, fairly modest. On a priori grounds, our theoretical analysis suggests that China's economy is still too small relative to the world economy to have much effect on global inflation: a back-of-the-envelope calculation puts that effect at about 1/3 percentage point in recent years. In terms of the empirical evidence, we identify a statistically significant effect of U.S. imports from China on U.S. import prices, but given the size of this effect and the relatively low share of imports in U.S. GDP, the ultimate impact on the U.S. consumer prices has likely been quite small. Moreover, imports from China had little apparent effect on U.S. producer prices. Finally, using a multi-country database of trade transactions, we estimate that since 1993, Chinese exports lowered annual import inflation in a large set of economies by 1/4 percentage point or less on average, similar to the prediction of our theoretical model.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Nicholas R. Lardy, Morris Goldstein
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Peterson Institute for International Economics
  • Abstract: Rarely has the outlook for the Chinese economy been so contested. The financial press widely quotes three alternative perspectives on the short-and medium-term outlook. One school argues that the Chinese government's recent efforts to rein in overly rapid growth are working and that the economy is now on a glide path to what is referred to as a soft landing. While “soft landing” is usually not fully defined, its chief feature in this case is that Chinese economic growth slows modestly from its current pace of 9 to 10 percent to around 8 percent and that the rate of job creation does not slow enough to constitute a major political challenge for the regime. At the other end of the spectrum is the hard landing school, which argues that the authorities to date have not tightened sufficiently, that loan and investment growth remain excessive, and that the authorities soon will be forced to take more drastic action that will trigger a sharp correction. Finally, the no landing school argues that China's efforts to slow growth modestly are misguided since the economy was not overheating in 2003 and early 2004. In this view, China is in the early stages of a secular boom that has several additional years to run.
  • Topic: Economics, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: John H. Makin
  • Publication Date: 04-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: Say's Law, named after French economist Jean- Baptiste Say (1767–1832), was promulgated at the time of the Industrial Revolution when some feared that purchasing power would be insufficient to absorb the ever-growing output of the newly mechanized economy. It states simply and reassuringly that supply creates its own demand. More specifically, the production of output tends to generate purchasing power equal to the value of that output.
  • Topic: Economics, International Trade and Finance, Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, America, Asia
  • Author: Roger Bate
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: By opening its economy to greater domestic and foreign investment in the technologies needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, China can dramatically improve its environmental record while becoming richer. The same promise holds for other developing countries as well.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: R. Glenn Hubbard, William Dudley
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Abstract: A critical factor in China's long-term economic growth is the development of its capital markets, which if properly organized could foster greater productivity, increased wages, and employment growth.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Democratization, Economics
  • Political Geography: China
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
  • Abstract: The textile and clothing industries provide employment for tens of million of people, primarily in developing countries, and accounted for USD 350 billion in merchandise exports in 2002, or 5.6% of the world total. The current rules governing world trade in textiles and clothing will change drastically at the end of 2004, when countries will no longer be able to protect their own industries by means of quantitative restrictions on imports of textile and clothing products. What will this mean for cotton growers in Burkina Faso and Turkey, fashion retailers in France and the United States, or shirt factories in Bangladesh, the Dominican Republic or China?
  • Topic: Civil Society, Development, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, United States, China, Turkey, France
  • Author: Douglas Webster, Jianming Cai, Binyi Luo, Larisa Muller
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Hangzhou Municipality is the provincial capital of Zhejiang, on China's east coast. It forms part of the Yangtze River Delta (YRD) region. Hangzhou was “opened up” in the mid-1980s, following Deng Xiaoping's visit to the South, resulting in an almost immediate flood of foreign and domestic investment in manufacturing. This initial investment was significantly in the peri-urban areas, i.e., outside the built-up area. The authors have been following development in the Hangzhou extended urban region, with emphasis on peri-urbanization processes, since 2000. A previous APARC discussion paper describes findings of preliminary field research on the Hangzhou–Ningbo Corridor, conducted in August 2000 and March 2001. The present paper zooms in on two peri-urban clusters in the Hangzhou extended urban region, and assesses their development over time. The goal of the research is to better understand how a peri-urban region changes—particularly in terms of firm evolution, labor characteristics, and spatial dynamics—as it becomes more economically and demographically mature. This paper also examines such changes in the context of the increasing cost structures and emerging competitors, primarily from other areas in China, that the Hangzhou peri-urban region now faces.
  • Topic: Demographics, Economics, Industrial Policy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Maryland
  • Author: Douglas Webster, Jianming Cai, Binyi Luo, Annemarie Schneider, Karen C. Seto
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Chengdu, the provincial capital of Sichuan, has undergone rapid transformation during China's post-reform period between 1978 and 2003. One of the leading cities in southwest China, Chengdu is second only to Chongqing in population. Chengdu anchors one end of the Chongqing-Chengdu urban corridor, the fourth most populous urban cluster in China. Although the upgrading of Chongqing Municipality to the equivalent of provincial status in 1997 has increased the city's profile and potential as an administrative, land transportation, and manufacturing center, it is expected that Chengdu's regional and strategic importance as a service and high-tech center will increase in the future. With increased economic specialization among Chinese cities, it is expected that Chengdu and Chongqing cities will increasingly complement each other in terms of function, both enhancing their developmental prospects as a result. Further, the development of western China is a major objective of the Tenth Five Year Plan. The “Go West” policy was introduced in 1999.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia, Chongqing, Chengdu
  • Author: Lawrence J. Lau, Guijuan Wang
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy has had the highest rate of growth in the world in the past two decades. However, despite its rapid growth and the significant improvements in its financial system, serious risks and problems still exist in both the commercial banking sector and the stock market, that may potentially threaten the stable development and growth of the entire economy. In this paper, these risks and problems in the stock market and the commercial banking sector are identified. Possible solutions are then discussed. Finally, tax reforms are proposed that have the effects of (1) eliminating the double taxation on cash dividends from corporate profits; (2) encouraging the substitution of new equity for existing debt by corporations, which can lower the P/E ratios without lowering the stock prices and improve quality of commercial bank assets by reducing the probability of new nonperforming loans; and (3) attracting new and longer-term investors, both domestic and foreign, to the Chinese stock market. It is also shown that the proposed tax reforms will not result in a significant reduction in total fiscal revenue.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Mary Comerford Cooper
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: This paper considers two questions. First, why did the Chinese government establish stock markets? Second, how have political interests shaped the key features of these markets? Based on both interviews and statistical analysis, the paper argues that China's top Party-State leaders attempted to create stock market institutions that allow the state to maintain control over listed companies, and over “the market” as a whole.
  • Topic: Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, East Asia, Asia
  • Author: Mary Comerford Cooper
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: This paper examines a key aspect of the politics of stock markets in China—the distinct differences in interests between central government leaders and local governments. Central government leaders have a powerful incentive to promote macroeconomic stability and good performance of the stock market. Local leaders, for their part, are less concerned with the overall performance of the stock market than with gaining access to the stock market for companies under their own jurisdiction. The paper demonstrates that company listing brings tangible economic benefits to municipalities. Listed companies are associated with higher levels of gross domestic product (GDP), budgetary revenue, and industrial and commercial tax revenue. Therefore, it is not surprising that local officials put substantial effort into lobbying for the right to list additional companies on the national stock exchanges.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Andrew G. Walder
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Despite skepticism about official economic statistics, there is little doubt that China since 1978 has undergone an economic transformation of historic proportions. This outcome stands in stark opposition to arguments that were once widely accepted in several scholarly communities, and which are still highly influential even today. In the early 1980s there was wide agreement that “partial” reform, under a single party dictatorship that sought indefinitely to preserve public ownership, was a recipe for failure. China specialists, students of comparative economic systems, and economists who advised governments and international agencies about postcommunist restructuring in Eurasia were initially in broad agreement on this point.
  • Topic: Economics, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Mary Comerford Cooper
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Does the World Trade Organization promote democracy? A large part of the heated and protracted debate over China's application for WTO membership revolved around this question. Prior to China's WTO accession in December 2001, this debate had dragged on for nearly fifteen years. While one side argued that WTO membership would promote democratization in China, others argued that the wealth generated through economic integration would provide the resources to maintain authoritarian rule. Only time will tell whether WTO accession will contribute to pressures for democratization in China. In the meantime, however, this paper examines the empirical basis for these competing claims about the effects of GATT/WTO memberships on domestic political systems. Based on statistical analysis of a global data set, this paper concludes that members of the international trade regime are more likely than nonmembers to be democracies. However, there is little evidence that WTO membership in itself can promote democratic transition. Instead, it appears to be the case that democratic countries are more likely to seek to join the WTO.
  • Topic: Communism, Democratization, Economics, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Andrew G. Walder
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Asia-Pacific Research Center
  • Abstract: Command economies gave communist-era elites administrative control and material privilege but severely restricted money income and private wealth. Markets and privatization inject new value into public assets and create unprecedented opportunities for elite insiders to extract incomes or assume ownership. These opportunities vary with the extensiveness of regime change and the barriers to asset appropriation. Within these limits, they further vary with the concentration and form of economic assets and structural changes induced by reform. Elite advantages are smallest where regime change is extensive and barriers to asset appropriation are high, and in small-scale economies that grow rapidly. In China, there has been no regime change and privatization has been delayed and slow. In the rural economy, elites keep their posts as a source of economic advantage, while low entry barriers to household enterprise and rapid growth have created new entrepreneurial elites. After two decades, rural officials nonetheless enjoy large net income advantages that grow along with the expansion of labor markets and private entrepreneurship. These are not generic outcomes of market reform, but the product of market reform in distinctive political and structural conditions.
  • Topic: Communism, Economics, Government, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Barry Naughton
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Aspen Institute
  • Abstract: The Chinese economy is showing extraordinary dynamism, which partly reflects the early impact of the commitments in China's WTO accession agreement to liberalize the economy. Incoming foreign investment has increased, and trade has grown rapidly. At the same time, China is grappling with serious economic problems that may worsen in the near future. The most difficult problem in crafting China policy is deciding how to respond flexibly to this extraordinary mixture of dynamism and fragility. Rapid growth gives the Chinese economy remarkable resilience; but deep-seated institutional weakness and stubborn problems of poverty and unemployment create dangers of social and economic disruption. An effective U.S. China policy must navigate between the extremes of over-estimating China's current economic strength and under-estimating her potential.
  • Topic: Economics, International Political Economy, International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Asia
  • Author: Stuart Harris
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Australian National University Department of International Relations
  • Abstract: In 1999, Gerry Segal, then Director of Research at the International Institute of Strategic Studies, wrote an article in Foreign Affairs entitled 'Does China matter?'. His article ranged across economic, political and strategic issues but his overall conclusion was that China's importance had been greatly exaggerated. As far as economic questions were concerned, Segal saw China as a small market 'that matters little to the world, especially outside Asia'.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Globalization
  • Political Geography: China, Asia