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Capital's long march west: saving and investment frictions in Chinese regions


Cudré, Samuel (2014). Capital's long march west: saving and investment frictions in Chinese regions. Working paper series / Department of Economics 161, University of Zurich.

Abstract

While China has been pivotal in discussions and academic research on global imbalances, little is known about macroeconomic external imbalances among Chinese regions and the factors driving them. We use aggregate regional data and estimate provincial total factor productivity growth over 1984-2010. We observe that provinces that caught up relatively to national TFP had capital outflows while those that fell behind had capital inflows: there seems to be a capital allocation puzzle at the regional level inside China. We follow up by identifying the drivers of this pattern using the methodology developed in Gourinchas and Jeanne (2013) to compute regional investment and saving wedges. By relating those frictions with TFP catch-up parameters, we find an investment and a saving puzzle: regions that caught up relative to the rest of China seem to have lower investment rate (higher investment tax) and higher saving (lower saving tax) relative to the prediction of the neoclassical model. We exploit Chinese cross-regional variation in key characteristics suggested by the literature and find robust explanatory variables of the wedges: factors related to the ownership type, the level of integration into the world economy and the economic structure are highly correlated with the identified frictions.

Abstract

While China has been pivotal in discussions and academic research on global imbalances, little is known about macroeconomic external imbalances among Chinese regions and the factors driving them. We use aggregate regional data and estimate provincial total factor productivity growth over 1984-2010. We observe that provinces that caught up relatively to national TFP had capital outflows while those that fell behind had capital inflows: there seems to be a capital allocation puzzle at the regional level inside China. We follow up by identifying the drivers of this pattern using the methodology developed in Gourinchas and Jeanne (2013) to compute regional investment and saving wedges. By relating those frictions with TFP catch-up parameters, we find an investment and a saving puzzle: regions that caught up relative to the rest of China seem to have lower investment rate (higher investment tax) and higher saving (lower saving tax) relative to the prediction of the neoclassical model. We exploit Chinese cross-regional variation in key characteristics suggested by the literature and find robust explanatory variables of the wedges: factors related to the ownership type, the level of integration into the world economy and the economic structure are highly correlated with the identified frictions.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Department of Economics
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
JEL Classification:F21, F36, F40, F43
Uncontrolled Keywords:China, Chinese provinces, Wedges, Frictions, Saving, Investment, Regional capital flows, Global imbalances, Capital allocation puzzle
Language:English
Date:June 2014
Deposited On:02 Jul 2014 15:39
Last Modified:15 Aug 2017 12:39
Series Name:Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number of Pages:46
ISSN:1664-7041
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/wp/econwp161.pdf
Related URLs:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/static/workingpapers.php

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