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Competition Policy, Corporate Saving and China's Current Account Surplus

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  • Rod Tyers

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  • Feng Lu

Abstract

China's industrial reforms have left many key industries dominated by few, often state owned, firms. Until recently, these firms were not required to pay dividends to the state and the post-2000 surge in growth made them very profitable, with their economic profits adding corporate saving amounting to a fifth of GDP. This bolstered China's overall saving-investment gap and hence its controversial current account surplus. In other countries, oligopolistic industries tend to be taxed more heavily and they are commonly subjected to price regulation. This study offers an economy-wide analysis of approaches to oligopoly rents in China. The results suggest that, while policy changes targeting national saving, including increased corporate taxation, expansionary fiscal policy and SOE privatisation all help to control the external imbalance, they tend also to turn demand inward, inducing higher oligopoly rents and slower growth. Competition policy, embodying both price cap regulation and free entry, proves more effective both in controlling the external imbalance and in fostering continued growth.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics in its series ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics with number 2009-496.

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Length: 37 Pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2009-496

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  1. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
  2. Rod Tyers & Jane Golley & Bu Yongxiang & Ian Bain, 2006. "China's Economic Growth and its Real Exchange Rate," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2006-476, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  3. Rod Tyers & Ling Huang, 2009. "Combating China's Export Contraction: Fiscal Expansion or Accelerated Industrial Reform?," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2009-501, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  4. Richard Harris, 1983. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 524, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  5. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  6. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China's Low Consumption," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
  7. Eichengreen, Barry, 2006. "Global imbalances: The new economy, the dark matter, the savvy investor, and the standard analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 645-652, September.
  8. Aart Kraay, 2000. "Household Saving in China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 545-570, September.
  9. Don, H. & Gunasekera, B. H. & Tyers, Rod, 1990. "Imperfect competition and returns to scale in a newly industrialising economy : A general equilibrium analysis of Korean trade policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 223-247, November.
  10. John Fernald & Brent Neiman, 2010. "Growth accounting with misallocation: Or, doing less with more in Singapore," Working Paper Series 2010-18, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2011. "Appreciating the Renminbi," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 265-297, 02.
  12. Charles Yuji Horioka & Junmin Wan, 2007. "The determinants of household saving in China: a dynamic panel analysis of provincial data," Working Paper Series 2007-28, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Brennan, Timothy J, 1989. "Regulating by Capping Prices," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 133-47, June.
  14. Rod Tyers, 2005. "Trade Reform and Manufacturing Pricing Behavior in Four Archetype Asia-Pacific Economies ," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 181-203, 06.
  15. Bradley, Ian & Price, Catherine, 1988. "The Economic Regulation of Private Industries by Price Constraints," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 99-106, September.
  16. Rees, Lucy & Tyers, Rod, 2004. "Trade reform in the short run: China's WTO accession," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, February.
  17. Rod Tyers & Iain Bain, 2008. "American and European Financial Shocks: Implications for Chinese Economic Performance," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2008-491, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  18. Franco Modigliani & Shi Larry Cao, 2004. "The Chinese Saving Puzzle and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 145-170, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Rod Tyers & Ling Huang, 2009. "Combating China’s Export Contraction: Fiscal Expansion or Accelerated Industrial Reform?," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 09-15, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  2. Luke Deer & Ligang Song, 2012. "China's Approach to Rebalancing: A Conceptual and Policy Framework," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 20(1), pages 1-26, 01.
  3. Peter E. Robertson, 2010. "Investment Led Growth In India: Hindu Fact or Mythology?," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 10-08, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.

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