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Book Synopsis Invisible China: Hundreds of Millions of Rural Underemployed May Slow China’s Growth

Scott Rozelle, Natalie Hell, Jun 02, 2021

No assessment of China's growth is complete without considering the implications of having hundreds of millions of underemployed people in China's economy for the foreseeable future. The bottom line is that China needs to build on its recent efforts to boost rural education, health and nutrition, and early childhood development, and do so at a pace and intensity that recognizes these are potentially among the biggest problems the nation faces.

The Value of Big Data in a Pandemic

Kairong Xiao, May 05, 2021

This article summarizes a study of the economic and public health effects of the Health Code app in China. By exploiting the staggered implementation of this technology across 322 Chinese cities, this study finds that the Health Code app significantly reduced virus transmission and facilitated economic recovery during the COVID-19 pandemic. A macroeconomic susceptible-infectious-recovered (SIR) model calibrated to the micro-level estimates shows...

The Productivity Consequences of Pollution-Induced Migration in China

Gaurav Khanna, Wenquan Liang, Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Ran Song, Apr 07, 2021

Severe air pollution induces workers to move from productive to unproductive regions, reducing their contribution to the aggregate productivity in China. In this paper, we quantify the productivity and welfare consequences of this important new pattern of migration. We find that the productivity losses from pollution through the indirect migration channel are approximately as much as the direct health costs of pollution.

Trade Policy Uncertainty and Firm Innovation

Qing Liu, Hong Ma, May 12, 2021

This study proposes a novel channel through which trade liberalization may induce innovation through the reduction of trade policy uncertainties (TPU) in destination markets. To verify this link, we utilize the significant reduction of TPU engendered by China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 as a quasi-natural experiment. We find that reduction in TPU significantly encourages firms' patent applications and that firms' innovation responses to TPU reduction vary by productivity, ownership, exporting status, and the irreversibility of investment.

Doing Business in China: Parental Background and Government Intervention Determine Who Owns Business

Ruixue Jia, Xiaohuan Lan, Gerard Padró i Miquel, May 19, 2021

The children of cadres have a higher likelihood of owning business in China, and this relationship varies greatly with government intervention in the economy. Connections with government are likely to be the explanation behind this pattern.