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Is China Over-Investing and Does it Matter?

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  • Il Houng Lee
  • Murtaza H. Syed
  • Liu Xueyan
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    Abstract

    Now close to 50 percent of GDP, this paper assesses the appropriateness of China’s current investment levels. It finds that China’s capital-to-output ratio is within the range of other emerging markets, but its economic growth rates stand out, partly due to a surge in investment over the last decade. Moreover, its investment is significantly higher than suggested by cross-country panel estimation. This deviation has been accumulating over the last decade, and at nearly 10 percent of GDP is now larger and more persistent than experienced by other Asian economies leading up to the Asian crisis. However, because its investment is predominantly financed by domestic savings, a crisis appears unlikely when assessed against dependency on external funding. But this does not mean that the cost is absent. Rather, it is distributed to other sectors of the economy through a hidden transfer of resources, estimated at an average of 4 percent of GDP per year.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/277.

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    Length: 22
    Date of creation: 27 Nov 2012
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/277

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    Related research

    Keywords: Investment; China; Economic growth; Welfare; Economic models; Cross country analysis; Social Welfare; Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Banks; cost of capital; gdp growth; real gdp; capital stock; growth model; growth rates; capital formation; volatile capital flows; capital productivity; gross capital formation; gdp per capita; capital income; capital spending; total factor productivity; economic growth rates;

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," Working Papers 09-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Sai Ding & Alessandra Guariglia & John Knight, . "Does China overinvest? Evidence from a panel of Chinese firms," Discussion Papers 12/04, University of Nottingham, GEP.
    3. Reinhart, Carmen & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2009. "Banking Crises: An Equal Opportunity Menace," CEPR Discussion Papers 7131, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Carl E. Walsh, 2003. "Monetary Theory and Policy, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232316, December.
    5. Duo Qin & Haiyan Song, 2007. "Sources of Investment Inefficiency: The Case of Fixed-Asset Investment in China," Working Papers 584, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
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    Cited by:
    1. Crafts, Nicholas & O’Rourke, Kevin Hjortshøj, 2014. "Twentieth Century Growth*This research has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) / ERC grant agreement no. 249546," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 6, pages 263-346 Elsevier.
    2. Omar Neme Castillo & Ana Lilia Valderrama Santibáñez & Humberto Ríos Bolívar, 2013. "Comercio internacional, IED, capital humano e ingreso per cápita en América Latina y el Caribe," Ensayos Revista de Economia, Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon, Facultad de Economia, vol. 0(1), pages 101-139, May.

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