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Frontiers of Economics in China

, Volume 10 Issue 3

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Foreword to “A Comparative Study of Two Global Crises”
Graham Allison, Lawrence Summers
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 393-395.
Abstract   PDF (157KB)
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A Comparative Study of Two Global Crises
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 396-413.
Abstract   PDF (4049KB)

This article identifies the differences and common features of two global crises: the Great Depression of 1929 and the international financial crisis of 2008. The circumstances of the two crises differ in terms of the demographic structure, the technological conditions, the economic and social systems in developed countries, the extent of globalization and other global economic situations. Among the common features, both crises were preceded by unprecedented economic booms, laisse-faire regulatory policies, easy monetary and credit policies, asset bubbles and yawning income gaps. Moreover, the crises had a strong redistribution effect, which would cause shifts of power among large countries and major changes in international economic order.

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Public Housing, School Segregation, and Children’s Education: Evidence from Hong Kong
Junjian Yi,Kee Lee Chou,Linda Yung,Junsen Zhang
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 414-448.
Abstract   PDF (2298KB)

Evidence in the literature shows that public-housing residents move less frequently than others. This tendency may restrict school choice for children from public-housing families and lead to school segregation and lower educational outcomes for those children. Our empirical findings from Hong Kong show three strands of evidence that support this hypothesis. (1) Children from public-housing families are more likely to drop out of school after compulsory education. The result is robust after controlling for family background and a series of parental characteristics. (2) Public-housing families with school-age children are less likely to move than their private-housing counterparts. (3) Children from public-housing families are more likely to study in local community schools, which are located on the outskirts of Hong Kong and are of lower education quality. These findings have important policy implications for the public-housing programs such as those which have been implemented in Mainland China since 2011.

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Learning and Efficiency with Search Frictions
Xi Weng
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 449-466.
Abstract   PDF (219KB)

This paper studies the allocative efficiency in a Moscarini (2005)-type equilibrium search environment with learning. It is shown that the stationary equilibrium is efficient if and only if the Hosios condition holds no matter whether learning is about firm-specific human capital or about general human capital. However, the stationary equilibrium can never be efficient if externalities exist from unemployment. In contrast, even with externalities, the stationary equilibrium can be efficient under some modified Hosios condition if there is no uncertainty (standard Mortensen and Pissarides (1994)-type equilibrium search environment). The key intuition is that the equilibrium can only be efficient if firm-worker matching is formed and terminated efficiently.

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A Syntactic Approach to Knowledge in Finite Games of Perfect Information
Wenzhang Zhang
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 467-482.
Abstract   PDF (239KB)

In this paper I present a syntactic approach to modeling the interactive knowledge of rationality in finite games of perfect information. This approach allows for a more transparent interpretation. In particular, we have the intuitive picture of viewing knowledge as the input and decisions as the output of a player’s deliberation. This distinction is blurred in the semantic state-space approach.

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Did Civilian Granaries Affect Social Stability? Empirical Evidence from the Qing Dynasty (1817–1856)
Fang Wang,Degang Miao,Xiaobo He
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 483-508.
Abstract   PDF (513KB)

Based on historical panel data of social instability, civilian granary and climate shocks in the 17 Provinces of the Qing from 1817 to 1856, this paper examines the correlation between social instability and civilian granary holdings. It shows that the civilian granary system reduced social instability in the Qing Dynasty, while climate shocks raised social instability. Moreover, this paper shows that civilian granaries mitigated the effects of climate shocks on social instability.

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An Empirical Test of the “Financial Accelerator” in China: Evidence from the Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database
Jie Chen,Zhe Li
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 509-526.
Abstract   PDF (943KB)

The purpose of this paper is to test the applicability of the “financial accelerator” mechanism to China. Using the Chinese Industrial Enterprises Database, we find strong evidence suggesting that the employment and investment of leveraged firms are less responsive to aggregate fluctuations. This finding goes against the implications of the “financial accelerator”. To make sure our empirical result is reliable, we have done several robustness checks using different estimation methods and subsamples.

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Trade Liberalization and Wage Inequality: Evidence from the U.S. States
Xiaofeng Penny Li
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 527-539.
Abstract   PDF (228KB)

This paper examines the relationship between trade liberalization and wage inequality for 50 U.S. states during the period from 1999 to 2008. The Difference-in-Differences and fixed effects methods are employed to evaluate the effect of trade liberalization on wage inequality in the U.S. states. Empirical results reveal that trade liberalization and de-unionization do increase the wage inequality between skilled and unskilled workers. Evidence shows skill-biased technological change has no significant impact on rising wage inequality. As Difference-in-Differences estimation on time-series cross sectional data involves many years, the conventional standard errors often understate the standard deviation of the estimators. This paper employs the standard bootstrapping procedure and the clustering error procedure to correct the problem, and all sign patterns still hold.

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The Determinants of Location Choices of China's ODI: Institutions, Taxation and Resources
Yongqin Wang,Julan Du,Kai Wang
Front. Econ. China. 2015, 10 (3): 540-565.
Abstract   PDF (647KB)

China has become the third largest source of outward direct investment (ODI). This paper studies how institutions in the host countries affect the location choices of China’s ODI. Based on a deal-level sample from 2002–2011, this paper empirically tests how political institutions, political stability, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and contrd of corruption in the host countries affect the location choices of China’s ODI. On top of these institutional factors, we study the effects of tax evasion and natural resources in host countries, and their interactions with institutional factors. We find that political institutions in the host countries are not major concerns of the ODI, while government effectiveness, regulatory quality, and control of corruption have significant effects on the locations of ODI. In addition, China’s ODI tends to avoid countries with strict legal systems. Tax evasion and resources are also major motives of China’s ODI. General institutional quality and tax evasion are substitutes in China’s ODI location decisions.

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9 articles