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  • Economic performance of state‐owned enterprises under the Chinese Communist Party's supervision: Some reflection on China's economic reform

    This study examines the economic behaviour of state‐owned enterprises in China with special emphasis on the role of the state's sole party as either an agent (management) or supervisor in the enterprises. It is found that with the construction of an incentive‐compatible compensation design and the Chinese Communist Party orchestrating an appropriate objective guideline for its members to follow, state or socialist capitalism could still achieve efficient economic performance. If party members did not behave prudently or pursued their personal interests instead of the state's overall welfare, there could be grave consequences, including corruption, nepotism or even the breakdown of the system.

  • Do networks or performance impact the promotion of Chinese officials? Evidence from prefecture‐level cities

    This study examines the effects of connections and economic performance on the promotion of Chinese city mayors. Our study differs from the published literature in four respects. First, this study covers a comprehensive data set, including 1,422 mayors from 284 prefecture‐level cities. The use of a large data set helps resolve mixed results of past studies. Second, we use a broader range of top leaders. Third, we apply a more comprehensive definition of connections than earlier studies. Finally, we examine the effects of the policy shift of the 11th 5‐year plan on promotion of mayors. Our results reveal that the performance of a city mayor assisted his/her promotion to party secretary before 2006 but not afterwards. However, a mayor's connection with five types of top leaders is helpful. Among the four types of connection, colleagueship is the most effective in expediting the promotion of mayors. Graduating from the same university and department is also helpful but to a lesser extent. Township connection is not useful.

  • Impact of tariff rates on the probability of trade relationship survival: Evidence from ASEAN+6 manufactured goods

    This article explores the links between imported trade relationships, their duration and tariff rates. We use survival analysis to investigate how the probability of trade relationship survival is affected by the difference in the tariff rates. We use the ASEAN+6 as the basis of our report and consider a total of 89 trading partners for manufactured goods from 1996 to 2011. Our findings are as follows. First, low‐tariff trade survives longer than high‐tariff trade of manufactured goods. Second, we find a significantly negative correlation between tariff rates and duration, and regional trade agreements help prolong the length of trade relationships. Third, the hazard ratios of intraregional differentiated goods and the parts and components trade are lower. We have also obtained robust results for distinct specifications through consideration of production networks and Rauch's product classification. Finally, we believe that these findings could be used as a reference for other economic organizations working toward the diminution of tariff rates.

  • Economic fluctuations, volatility changes and the role of government spending in China: A structural analysis

    We study the economic fluctuations in China by using a standard neoclassical general equilibrium model to provide a structural analysis. We have carefully constructed measurements for economic variables from Chinese data to be consistent with the literature. We show that the government spending behaviour plays an important role in accounting for the changes in the pattern of both absolute and relative volatilities. Although we find that a general moderation in economic fluctuations after 1978 can be largely explained by the total factor productivity (TFP) process, TFP itself cannot explain the change in the pattern of relative volatilities. We show that policy changes in government spending can account for the relative volatility divergency. Counterfactual experiments are also provided to discover the role of each factor in explaining the economic fluctuations in China.

  • Cost metafrontier approach for measuring the Malmquist productivity index: An example of bank groups formed after the financial reform in Taiwan

    This study attempts to provide a framework under the variable returns to scale hypothesis to account for the effect of the cost scale efficiency change in the decomposition of the cost metafrontier Malmquist productivity index (CMMPI). In addition, the meta‐cost efficiency and cost frontier gap between subordinate banks of financial holding companies (FHC) and independent banks are also examined. A total of 34 banks in Taiwan are empirically analysed from 1999 to 2012. The results indicate that the meta‐cost efficiency, meta‐technical efficiency and meta‐allocative efficiency scores of subordinate banks of FHC are better than those of independent banks. The banking industry in Taiwan is found to have an improvement in cost metafrontier Malmquist productivity. The subordinate banks of FHC are also found to exhibit positive CMMPI and decomposition components, but do not achieve a significant improvement except in the case of the technical gap ratio change. The empirical results recommend that Taiwanese banks place more policy focus on the issue of scale adjustment, which should be beneficial. Based on the CMMPI decomposed results, we can gain further understanding of the growth path to enhance operational performance.

  • Wage premium of Communist Party membership: Evidence from China

    Social status and political connections may confer large economic benefits on an individual. Previous studies focused on China have examined the relationship between Communist Party membership and earnings and have revealed a positive correlation. However, the correlation could be partly or totally spurious. Using data from three surveys spanning three decades, we estimate the causal effect of Chinese Communist Party membership on monthly earnings in China. We find that, on average, membership in the Communist Party of China increases monthly earnings and the wage premium has grown in the last three decades. We explore potential causes and discover evidence that improvements in social networks and social rank, acquisition of job‐related qualifications and greater life satisfaction play important roles in increased earnings.

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  • GDP competition and corporate investment: Evidence from China

    This study examines whether and how macroeconomic performance competition is related to investment at firm level. We use GDP competition as a proxy of dynamic macroeconomic conditions. We find that the effect of GDP competition on firm investments is significantly positive. We also find that GDP competition destroys investment efficiency significantly, especially by increasing overinvestment. Further tests show that GDP competition is more likely to affect the investment decisions of firms controlled by governments and firms located in regions with low marketization. In addition, our analyses reveal that the provincial officials facing competitive pressure are more likely to be promoted if firm investments accelerate. We use alternative proxies to measure GDP competition and find similar results that support our inference. Our findings support the notion that GDP competition of governments distorts investment behaviour. The present paper also elucidates investment problems and dilemmas faced by emerging economies.

  • Structural transformation and its implications for the Chinese economy

    This study examines China's structural transformation under the assumption that its employment structure converges to that in major developed economies in one and a half decades. The required annual output differentials between tradable and nontradable sectors, productivity increment in the nontradable sector, and government expenditure increment are estimated with the goal of employment stability conditional on population ageing. It appears that labour transfer from the tradable sector to the nontradable sector would be accompanied by relatively large aggregate output changes due to population ageing and efficiency changes in the tradable sector. Consumer price and real exchange rates are less affected during structural transformation. Although fiscal deficit would increase, government expenditure as a tool to stabilize employment is welfare improving as long as job switching is not cost prohibitive.

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