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Evolution of Structural Indicators. China and Regions: 1981-2010

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This paper deals with some structural indicators and their evolution, in China and regions, over the period 1981-2010. We first produce estimates of the optimal productivities of incremental capital and the optimal incremental income elasticity of capital by means of a linear programming exercise. We then produce an accounting growth decomposition to assess the changes in the contribution of capital productivity, capital intensity and labour participation to the growth rate of output per capita. Finally, we combine an accounting growth decomposition with a standard production function, growth accounting, decomposition to assess both the contribution of both capital productivity and capital intensity to total factor productivity (TFP). We also show in an appendix the difference in the TFP growth contribution when marginal elasticities are assumed variable over time and when scale returns are assumed increasing rather than constant. Our main conclusion is that capital intensity, rather than capital productivity or labour participation, has been the main growth contributor. But this does not mean that quantity in itself, rather than quality, is behind such growth, as total factor productivity, which is significantly more than engineering technical change, has been relatively important over the period.

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Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 701.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp701

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Keywords: Structural indicators; Incremental capital productivity; Growth decomposition; Optimal consistency method (OCM); Total factor productivity (TFP);

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  1. Golley, Jane & Meng, Xin, 2011. "Has China run out of surplus labour?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 555-572.
  2. Jinghai Zheng & Zheng Wang & Jinchuan Shi, 2008. "Industrial productivity performance in Chinese regions (1987-2002): a decomposition approach," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 157-175.
  3. Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2005. "The Chinese Approach to Capital Inflows: Patterns and Possible Explanations," NBER Working Papers 11306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. J. M. Albala-Bertrand, 2010. "A contribution to estimate a benchmark capital stock. An optimal consistency method," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 715-729.
  5. Shang-Jin Wei & Eswar Prasad, 2005. "The Chinese Approach to Capital Inflows," IMF Working Papers 05/79, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Gregory C. Chow, 2004. "Economic Reform and Growth in China," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 5(1), pages 127-152, May.
  7. Jose Miguel Albala-Bertrand, 2007. "Net Capital Stock and Capital Productivity for China and Regions: 1960-2005. An Optimal Consistency Method," Working Papers 610, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  8. Alwyn Young, 2000. "Gold into Base Metals: Productivity Growth in the People's Republic of China during the Reform Period," NBER Working Papers 7856, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kui-Wai Li, 2003. "China's Capital and Productivity Measurement Using Financial Resources," Working Papers 851, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
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