China & World Economy / Vol. 25, No. 4, 2017, pp.1–21
This study draws on a survey of migrants in 12 cities across four major urbanizing areas in China and investigates the structure of migrant worker families’ urban and rural consumption. The results show that the structure of migrant worker families’ consumption has been dominated by survival consumption. These families tend to live frugally in cities while engaging in conspicuous consumption in their rural hometowns. The structure of migrant worker families’ consumption is mainly shaped by their income stability and wealth levels rather than their current income level. Moreover, migrant worker families with high educational levels and those who intend to settle permanently in cities are likely to allocate substantial expenditure to status and hedonic consumption and to upgrade their urban consumption structure.
China & World Economy / Vol. 25, No. 4, 2017, pp.22–43
Social Capital and Total Factor Productivity:
Evidence from Chinese Provinces
Ailun Xiong, Hans Westlund, Hongyi Li, Yongjian Pu
The impact of social capital on economic development has been broadly studied by scholars. However, research in the Chinese context is relatively rare. Drawing upon data from the China General Social Survey, our results suggest that the enhancing effect of social capital on total factor productivity is very limited in the case of China. The network dimension of social capital is significant only in pooled OLS estimations, and trust as well as the participation dimension of social capital exert no impact across all estimations. Our interpretation is that this is partly due to the fact that trust, values and norms formed in civil society are inherently difficult to transmit to the market sector. Besides, the impact of social capital on economic performance is undermined when physical capital plays a significant role in production. We therefore propose that the effect of social capital on economic performance is contingent on localized social and economic conditions.
China & World Economy / Vol. 25, No. 4, 2017, pp.44–59
China’s Housing Market Imbalance from 2003 to 2016:
An Analysis Based on the User Cost Approach
During 2003–2016, China experienced an unprecedented housing market imbalance. The present paper applies the user cost approach to conduct a systematic analysis of this important phenomenon, examines the policy factors behind the persistent housing market imbalance, and explores policy options to correct the housing market imbalance. We found that during most of 2003–2016, the user cost was significantly lower than 2 percent, caused by high income growth, rapid credit expansion and low interest rates, which led to the persistent housing market imbalance. Therefore, the government should control bank credit and introduce property taxes during the possession of houses.
China & World Economy / Vol. 25, No. 4, 2017, pp.60–77
Development of Public Housing in
Jie Chen, Lingzhen Yao, Hongwei Wang
This paper explores the dynamic nature of the transformation of public housing regimes in urban China since the abolishment of the urban welfare housing system in the late 1990s. We summarize the latest progress in the development of public housing in post-reform China and investigate the driving forces behind these developments. A close examination of the public rental housing program in Shanghai helps to show that the recent revival of public housing in Chinese cities is mostly driven by the desire for economic growth. We conclude that the state provision of housing could be a short-run state remedy to alleviate economic imbalance and social inequality. However, in the long run China needs to seek more effective solutions to solve the low-income population’s housing affordability problems.
China & World Economy / Vol. 25, No. 4, 2017, pp.78–92
China’s Internet Finance: A Critical Review
China’s Internet finance industry developed explosively from 2012 to 2015. Undersupply of financial services, progress of information technology and accommodative regulations for Internet finance jointly explain the explosive development. Regulation tightened after the small-scale P2P lending crisis in 2015. The present paper discusses the role of information technology and mega data analysis in financial services, with particular attention paid to some popular misconceptions. The paper predicts that large financial institutions and information technology companies will play a dominant role in the future development of Internet finance.
China & World Economy / Vol. 25, No. 4, 2017, pp.93–108
What Are the Determinants of
Large-scale Farming in China?
Xing Xia, Xian Xin, Ling Ma
The Chinese Government has increased its focus on expanding farm scale to promote agricultural development since 2010. A series of favorable polices has been adopted to support large-scale farming. Using a multivariate probit model and 2015 and 2016 rural household survey data, the present paper examines the factors that influence small farmers’ decision to become large-scale farmers. The empirical regression results suggest that the decision to become a large-scale farmer is significantly influenced by household human capital, cooperative membership, marketing channels, land-transfer contracts and government policies. However, the influence of these factors differs with respect to becoming large-scale grain and non-grain farmers. These results imply that policy tools should target these factors and the appropriate group of small-scale farmers. Generally, both central and local governments should promote large-scale farming by enhancing rural households’ human capital, improving marketing channels and providing agricultural social services, as well as encouraging returning migrant workers to engage in large-scale farming.
China & World Economy / Vol. 25, No. 4, 2017,pp.109–130
Local Governments’ Fiscal Pressure and the Dependence on Polluting Industries in China
Ruoyu Wang, Qi Zhang
Using a large, unique county-level panel dataset for China from 1998 to 2006, this paper investigates the relationship between local governments’ fiscal pressure and their preference for developing polluting industries. The results show that there exist fiscal pressure effects; namely, a positive link between the fiscal pressure faced by a county and its industrial tax dependence on polluting industries. We also investigate the heterogeneity of the fiscal pressure effects and find that fiscal pressure effects are significant only when local fiscal pressure is sufficiently high up to a certain point, and when there are more earmarked transfers. In contrast to the situation in east China, fiscal pressure effects in central and west China are more pronounced. Therefore, when dealing with environmental problems, policy-makers need to take local governments’ fiscal conditions into account.