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Frontiers of Economics in China

, Volume 10 Issue 1

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China Is Not yet Number One
Jeffrey Frankel
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (1): 1-6.
Abstract   PDF (755KB)

Many claim that China will soon overtake the US. I argue that this claim is based on a misuse of statistics. The International Comparison Program (ICP) price data is necessary to compare living standards, since a dollar’s worth of yuan buys more in China than a dollar buys in the US. But the fact that rice and clothes are cheap in rural China does not make the Chinese economy larger. What matters for size in the world economy is how much a yuan can buy on world markets. Using the correct prices, the US remains the world’s largest economic power by a substantial margin.

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Productivity Shocks and Monetary Policy in a Two-Country Model
Tae-Seok Jang,Eiji Okano
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (1): 7-37.
Abstract   PDF (1170KB)

In this paper, we examine the effects of foreign productivity shocks on monetary policy in a symmetric open economy. Our two-country model incorporates the New Keynesian features of price stickiness and monopolistic competition based on the cost channel of Ravenna and Walsh (2006). In particular, in response to asymmetric productivity shocks, firms in one country achieve a more efficient level of production than those in another economy. Because the terms of trade are directly affected by changes in both economies’ output levels, international trade creates a transmission channel for inflation dynamics in which a deflationary spiral in foreign producer prices reduces domestic output. When there is a decline in economic activity, the monetary authority should react to this adverse situation by lowering the key interest rate. The impulse response function from the model shows that a productivity shock can cause a real depreciation of the exchange rate when economies are closely integrated through international trade.

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Estimating Nonlinear DSGE Models with Moments Based Methods
Ivashchenko Sergey
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (1): 38-55.
Abstract   PDF (262KB)

This article suggests a new approach to approximating moments for nonlinear DSGE models. This approach is fast and sufficiently accurate to estimate nonlinear DSGE models. A small financial DSGE model is repeatedly estimated by several modifications of the suggested approach. Approximations of the moments are close to the results of the large sample Monte Carlo estimation. The quality of parameter estimation using our suggested approach is close to the Central Difference Kalman Filter (CDKF); and our suggested approach is much faster.

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Team Dynamics Where Followers Have Illusion about Guide
Shyh-Fang Ueng
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (1): 56-84.
Abstract   PDF (260KB)

A team is assigned to accomplish a task in each infinitely-repeated period. The guide of the team and his followers are allowed to have asymmetric productivity; also the followers have either a hostile or favorable illusion toward the guide. Respective efforts and the followers’ illusion are private information. At the end of each period, the output of the joint task emerges and the followers evaluate the guide. The analysis shows (1) that potential for an unreasonable evaluation suppresses the guide’s effort down to an average level; (2) letting the followers inform the guide of their illusion in advance increases both sides’ payoffs; (3) abolishing the evaluation reduces both sides’ payoffs in general; and (4) however, if the magnitude of the followers’ hostile illusion weighted by its relative probability is enormous, abolishing the evaluation increases the output and the guide’s payoff.

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Democracy and Economic Growth: Optimal Level and Transmission Channels
Pak Hung Mo
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (1): 85-112.
Abstract   PDF (312KB)

After evening out all the benefits and costs, the overall optimal level of democracy is about 3.2, on a scale of 1 to 7. On average, fully dictatorial countries have a conditioned growth rate of –1.113 percent, fully democratic countries have a conditioned growth rate of 1.146 while countries with the optimal level of democracy/autocracy have a conditioned growth rate of 2.665. In the case of a fully dictatorial country, moving one unit towards democracy can raise the GDP growth rate by about 1.725 points; while for a fully democratic country, moving towards autocracy by one unit can raise the growth rate by about 0.885 points. This study provides useful information for many developing countries which are experiencing substantial pressures to restructure their political system.

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The Impact of Non-Labor Income Given Job Heterogeneity on Household Time Allocation: The Evidence from China
Junhui Hu,Yongchong Mao,Jinghua Zhang
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (1): 113-136.
Abstract   PDF (681KB)

This paper proposes a theoretical framework based on new household economic theories. A dataset from the 2006 China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) is used. Given heterogeneity in major family members’ jobs, the effect of non-labor income on household time allocation is discussed under two scenarios: jobs with flexible work hours and jobs with fixed work hours in the market. Based on the nature of the employer the major family member works for, employers can be categorized into four categories: government-owned, family contract, privately-owned, and foreign-funded. Each of the four categories is used for dissecting the data into different sets for analysis by category. The results imply that job heterogeneity is significantly correlated to household time allocation. An increase in non-labor income results in a decrease in the time allocated to housework for all households. However, leisure time is allocated differently among different households due to job heterogeneity. An increase in non-labor income leads to less leisure time for households working for government-owned or foreign-funded enterprises, and more leisure time for households working for family contract or privately-owned enterprises.

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Spatial-Temporal Changes of Housing Bubbles in China’s Major Cities: 1999 to 2012
Huayi Yu
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (1): 137-167.
Abstract   PDF (4562KB)

Existing literature is characterized by certain deficiencies in measuring housing bubbles in China. By extending the analytical framework of Black et al. (2006) to a spatial panel VAR structure, this paper measures housing bubbles in China’s 35 major cities from 1999Q2 to 2012Q3 and analyzes the spatial-temporal changes of the housing bubbles in these cities. Results indicate that 1) changes to housing bubbles in most cities highly correspond with changes in the main real estate policies of the country and 2) housing bubbles in eastern developed cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Hangzhou, and Ningbo, have been relatively large in recent years although the average housing bubble is not very serious over the 35 major cities. Through the Kernel Density Function and local indicators of spatial autocorrelation analysis, this paper finds that housing bubbles are concentrated in several eastern developed cities. Based on empirical analysis, this paper proposes policy recommendations on inhibiting the expansion and diffusion of housing bubbles.

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Economic Value of Water Quality Improvement by One Grade Level in Erhai Lake: A Willingness-to-Pay Survey and a Benefit-Transfer Study
Hua Wang,Yuyan Shi,Yoonhee Kim,,Takuya Kamata
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (1): 168-199.
Abstract   PDF (983KB)

Water quality in China has seriously deteriorated in recent years. However, very few valuation studies have been conducted to estimate the monetary values associated with water quality changes. As a result, the decision makers can hardly make rational choices with regard to investments in water quality improvement. This paper presents a valuation study conducted in Dali, Yunnan Province, which aims to estimate the total economic value of improving the water quality of Erhai Lake by one grade level. Both the contingent valuation method and the benefit transfer approach are employed in this study. The contingent valuation estimation strategy reveals that, on average, a household located in Dali is willing to pay about 27 yuan per month continuously for 5 years for the water quality improvement, equivalent to 1.7% of the household monthly income. The elasticity of willingness-to-pay with respect to income is estimated to be 0.28. The internal rate of economic return of the proposed pollution control project is estimated to be 13%. The benefit transfer exercise produces a similar estimation on willingness to pay (WTP) values, with a difference of less than 2% compared with the contingent valuation approach. The results indicate the potential reliability of using the benefit transfer approach for valuation estimations in Chinese provinces.

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