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Frontiers of Economics in China

, Volume 11 Issue 1

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Orginal Article
Structural Changes in High Dimensional Factor Models
Jushan Bai,Xu Han
Front. Econ. China. 2016, 11 (1): 9-39.
Abstract   PDF (311KB)

This paper provides a survey on recent developments in structural changes for high dimensional factor models. Compared with conventional low-dimensional time series, structural changes in factor models are more complicated due to the unobservability of factors and factor loadings. The following topics are covered in this survey: the identification conditions for the structural changes in the factor loadings, different impacts of big and small breaks in factor models, tests for structural changes in the factor loadings of a specific variable, tests for structural changes in the factor loading matrix, joint tests for structural changes in the factor loadings and coefficients in factor-augmented regressions, tests for smooth changes in the factor loadings, estimation of break dates, and model selection in factor models with structural changes via the shrinkage method.

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Inference for Optimal Split Point in Conditional Quantiles
Yanqin Fan,Ruixuan Liu,Dongming Zhu
Front. Econ. China. 2016, 11 (1): 40-59.
Abstract   PDF (325KB)

In this paper we show the occurrence of cubic-root asymptotics in misspecified conditional quantile models where the approximating functions are restricted to be binary decision trees. Inference procedure for the optimal split point in the decision tree is conducted by inverting a t-test or a deviation measure test, both involving Chernoff type limiting distributions. In order to avoid estimating the nuisance parameters in the complicated limiting distribution, subsampling is proved to deliver the correct confidence interval/set.

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The Dynamic Process of Economic Takeoff and Industrial Transformation
Ming-Jen Chang,Ping Wang,Danyang Xie
Front. Econ. China. 2016, 11 (1): 60-87.
Abstract   PDF (3137KB)

This paper studies the patterns and key determinants of staged economic development. We construct a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model populated with one-period lived non-overlapping generations, featuring endogenous enhancement in modern technology and endogenous accumulation of labor skills and capital funds. We consider preference biases toward the traditional sector of necessities, capital barriers to the modern sector, and imperfect substitution between skilled and unskilled workers. By calibrating the model to fit historic U.S. development, we find that modern technologies, saving incentives and capital scales/barriers are the most important determinants of the takeoff time. By evaluating the process of economic development, we identify that what shapes saving incentives is most crucial for the speed of modernization after taking off. We further establish that labor, capital and output are most responsive to the initial state of modern technologies, but least responsive to skill endowments, along the dynamic transition path

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Transfers and the Samuelson Rule in Stock Externality Provision—Why Do We Need Them Both?
Zili Yang
Front. Econ. China. 2016, 11 (1): 88-103.
Abstract   PDF (461KB)

This paper examines the relationship between the Samuelson rule for efficient provision of stock externality and unilateral transfers for equalization of mitigation costs among the agents. Using a generic model of stock externality provisions, we proved that the revised Samuelson rule that allows transfers is a necessary and sufficient condition for efficient provision of stock externalities. In addition, selection of social welfare weights of the agents plays a key role in directions and magnitudes of the transfers. We discuss the implications of the revised Samuelson rule in economic modeling of climate change, an empirical case of stock externality, through numerical simulations in the RICE model.

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Freedom in Welfare Economics
Yongsheng Xu
Front. Econ. China. 2016, 11 (1): 104-122.
Abstract   PDF (375KB)

This paper discusses the recent economics literature on ranking opportunity sets in terms of freedom. It focuses on (i) the intuitive significance of freedom in assessing economic and public policies, (ii) the measurement of freedom offered by various opportunity sets, and (iii) the conception of opportunity set in a world of interdependence among individuals. This paper also points out some open issues and problems that deserve further investigations.

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An Analysis of Energy and Environment Efficiency of China’s Iron and Steel Industry
Ming Lei,Zihan Yin
Front. Econ. China. 2016, 11 (1): 123-141.
Abstract   PDF (186KB)

Due to heavy energy consumption and low technical efficiency, China’s iron and steel industry is trapped in the dilemma “large but not strong”. This situation not only exerts enormous pressure on energy security but also on increased carbon emission and environmental pollution. The contribution of this study is to calculate the energy and environment efficiency of China’s iron and steel industry and to analyze the factors affecting this efficiency. An index of energy and environment efficiency is introduced based on Directional Slacks-based Distance Measure Model. This index is adopted to measure the energy and environment efficiency of China’s iron and steel industry using 2,382 firm observations during 2001 to 2005. In addition, Hierarchy Linear Model (HLM) is applied to analyze the factors which can influence the efficiency with both firm-level and province-level data. The conclusions are as follows: The energy and environment efficiency of China’s iron and steel industry did not have a significant change during the research period. A firm’s age, size, ownership, product category and the economy of its province have significant influence on its energy and environment efficiency.

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Applications of an IS-MP Model with Yield Curve
X. Henry Wang,Bill Z. Yang
Front. Econ. China. 2016, 11 (1): 142-155.
Abstract   PDF (327KB)

This paper presents an IS-MP model with the term structure of interest rates (i.e., the yield curve) and discusses some of its applications to recent macroeconomic activities and policy issues. Specifically, the model is employed to explain (1) why a steepening yield curve may signal the subsequent economic expansion, (2) why long-term zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) may not completely avoid recessions, but disables the yield curve from being inverted to signal the following economic recession, (3) how Operation Twist (OT) may help ease the recession, in particular, under ZIRP, and what limit it may face.

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China’s Capital Stock Series by Region and Sector
Yanrui Wu
Front. Econ. China. 2016, 11 (1): 156-172.
Abstract   PDF (283KB)

The lack of capital stock statistics for empirical research of the Chinese economy has for a long time been one of the major impediments in the profession. Professor Gregory Chow is one of the pioneers who attempted to deal with this matter. His seminal paper on China’s capital formation and economic growth was published in 1993 (Chow, 1993). Since then many authors have estimated their own capital stock data series. However, most authors have focused on investigations at the national level and their findings are not without controversies. In particular, few studies have provided estimates of capital stock for China’s regional economies. This paper adds to the existing literature in several ways. First, it presents a critical review of the methods and findings in the existing literature. Second, it proposes an alternative approach to estimate China’s capital stock series by region as well as across three economic sectors (agriculture, industry and services). Finally, preliminary analyses of the derived capital stock statistics are conducted to examine growth, disparity and convergence in China’s regional economies.

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10 articles