We study credit allocation across firms and its real effects during China’s economic stimulus plan of 2009-2010 using loan-level data from the 19 largest Chinese banks matched with firm-level data on manufacturing firms. We find that the stimulus-driven credit expansion significantly affected firm borrowing, investment, and employment. The plan disproportionately favored state-owned firms and firms with a lower marginal product of capital, reversing the process of capital reallocation that characterized China’s high growth before 2008.
In this paper, we show that a general equilibrium model that properly captures the risks in old age, the role of family insurance, changes in demographics, and the productivity growth rate is capable of generating changes in the national saving rate in China that mimic the data well. Our findings suggest that the combination of the risks faced by the elderly and the deterioration of family insurance due to the one-child policy may account for approximately half of the increase in the saving rate between 1980 and 2010. We also show that changes in total factor productivity growth account for the fluctuations in the saving rate during this period.