The lockdowns induced by Covid-19 have led to unprecedented challenges to economies across the globe. The second edition of the VoxChina Covid-19 Forum focuses on China’s post-lockdown economic recovery, with three presentations that are based on data analysis of small businesses, consumption, e-commerce, and beyond, each for 15 minutes. There will be 30 minutes of Q&As.
China's 4 Trillion Yuan stimulus in November 2008 may have been successful in allowing China to escape from the Great Recession. But the massive increase in local government debt in the implementation of the stimulus package also led to crowd out of the more productive private sector investment. Yi Huang of Graduate Institute in Geneva and his coauthors Marco Pagano and Ugo Panizza discuss this "dark side" of the Chinese stimulus.
We provide a theory to explain China’s excessive housing price growth in the most recent decades, despite a high vacancy rate and a high rate of return to capital. We argue that China’s housing prices contain a significant and rapidly growing bubble component. This growing housing bubble generates a substantial degree of welfare losses and resource misallocation in the capital market, which are prolonging economic transition and hindering aggregate economic growth.
China’s government mandates that foreign investors in certain industries form joint ventures with a domestic Chinese partner. We use a dataset that accounts for all joint ventures in China from 1998 to 2007 to show that this policy is successful in its aim of encouraging technology transfers from foreign investors to domestic operations. We find empirical evidence for the existence of at least three channels through which this transfer takes place.
The spectacular ongoing housing boom in China has generated great concerns around the world about the risk of a housing bust on the Chinese economy and the world economy. This column by four Harvard economists compares this housing boom with that experienced by the U.S. in 2000s and dissects its distinct characteristics — its fundamental support, enormous construction, and the delicate role played by government policies.