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Modeling Technological Progress and Investment in China: Some Caveats

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  • Jesus Felipe
  • John McCombie

Abstract

Since the early 1990s, the number of papers estimating econometric models and using other quantitative techniques to try to understand different aspects of the Chinese economy has mushroomed. A common feature of some of these studies is the use of neoclassical theory as the underpinning for the empirical implementations. It is often assumed that factor markets are competitive, that firms are profit maximizers, and that these firms respond to the same incentives that firms in market economies do. Many researchers find that the Chinese economy can be well explained using the tools of neoclassical theory. In this paper, we (1) review two examples of estimation of the rate of technical progress, and (2) discuss one attempt at modeling investment. We identify their shortcomings and the problems with the alleged policy implications derived. We show that econometric estimation of neoclassical models may result in apparently sensible results for misinformed reasons. We conclude that modeling the Chinese economy requires a deeper understanding of its inner workings as both a transitional and a developing economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Levy Economics Institute, The in its series Economics Working Paper Archive with number wp_643.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Handle: RePEc:lev:wrkpap:wp_643

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Web page: http://www.levyinstitute.org

Related research

Keywords: China; Identity; Investment; Neoclassical Model; Total Factor Productivity Growth;

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  1. Felipe, Jesus & Kumar, Utsav & Abdon, Arnelyn & Bacate, Marife, 2012. "Product complexity and economic development," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 36-68.
  2. Chow, G.C., 1990. "Capital Formation And Economic Growth In China," Papers 67, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Discussion Paper.
  3. Song, Haiyan & Liu, Zinan & Jiang, Ping, 2001. "Analysing the determinants of China's aggregate investment in the reform period," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 227-242.
  4. Sun, Laixiang, 1998. "Estimating Investment Functions Based on Cointegration: The Case of China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 175-191, March.
  5. Wan, Guang H., 1995. "Technical Change in Chinese State Industry: A New Approach," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 308-325, December.
  6. Holz, Carsten A., 2002. "Long live China's state-owned enterprises: deflating the myth of poor financial performance," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 493-529.
  7. Felipe, Jesus & McCombie, J. S. L., 1999. "Wan's "New Approach" to Technical Change: A Comment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 355-363, June.
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