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Does local governments’ budget deficit push up housing prices in China?

Listed author(s):
  • Wu, Guiying Laura
  • Feng, Qu
  • Li, Pei

Budget deficit has been a common fiscal pressure facing Chinese cities since the 1994 fiscal reform. Meanwhile, land lease sales have become a significant off-budgetary revenue to local governments since 2003. This paper investigates whether financing budget deficit is an important driving force of the recent soaring housing prices when local governments function as the monopoly supplier of urban land. A conceptual framework is developed to illustrate a transmission mechanism from budget deficit to housing prices. This leads to an empirical model consisting of two simultaneous structural equations for housing prices and land prices. Using data for the 35 major Chinese cities from 2003 to 2011, an empirical exercise shows that although budget deficit has a positive effect on land prices, it is the factors from demand side, such as amenities, income and the user cost of housing capital, that have been pulling up the housing prices.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1043951X1400100X
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 35 (2015)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 183-196

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Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:35:y:2015:i:c:p:183-196
DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2014.08.007
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

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