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Why Does China Invest So Much?

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  • John Knight

    (China Growth Centre, St. Edmund Hall University of Oxford, OX1 4AR, United Kingdom.)

  • Sai Ding

    (Department of Economics, University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Building, Glasgow, G12 8RT, United Kingdom.)

Abstract

China has had a remarkably high ratio of investment to output ever since economic reform began in 1978, surpassing almost all other economies. This is an important proximate determinant of China's high growth rate. This paper gathers together the available evidence to explain why investment is so high: factors both on the demand and on the supply side, and in the latter case the availability of both resources and funds. It analyzes the rate of return on capital and its evolution, and the factors that have kept it up. It draws on the literature to explain the high saving rate, and considers why the imperfect capital market and institutional deficiencies have not constrained investment. The state-owned and private sectors are treated separately because of their different objectives, behavior, and funding. (c) 2010 The Earth Institute at Columbia University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • John Knight & Sai Ding, 2010. "Why Does China Invest So Much?," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 9(3), pages 87-117, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:9:y:2010:i:3:p:87-117
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    Cited by:

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    2. Gunther Schnabl, 2019. "China's Overinvestment and International Trade Conflicts," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 27(5), pages 37-62, September.
    3. Lv, Bingyang & Liu, Yongzheng & Li, Yan, 2020. "Fiscal incentives, competition, and investment in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    4. Guonan Ma & Robert McCauley & Lillie Lam, 2013. "The Roles of Saving, Investment and the Renminbi in Rebalancing the Chinese Economy," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(1), pages 72-84, February.
    5. Sai Ding & Alessandra Guariglia & John Knight & Junhong Yang, 2021. "Negative Investment in China: Financing Constraints and Restructuring versus Growth," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1411-1449.
    6. John Knight & Wei Wang, 2011. "China’s Macroeconomic Imbalances: Causes and Consequences," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(9), pages 1476-1506, September.
    7. Sai Ding & John Knight & Xiao Zhang, 2019. "Does China overinvest? Evidence from a panel of Chinese firms," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(6), pages 489-507, April.
    8. Harashima, Taiji, 2016. "The Impending Long March of the Chinese Economy," MPRA Paper 73275, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Waseem Khan & Sana Fatima, 2016. "An Assessment of Sectoral Dynamics and Employment Shift in Indian and Chinese Economy," South Asian Survey, , vol. 23(2), pages 119-134, September.
    10. Bednarczyk Jan L. & Brzozowska-Rup Katarzyna, 2019. "Non-Decreasing Economic Growth Rate Of Inflation (Ndegri) In Light Of Empirical Studies," Econometrics. Advances in Applied Data Analysis, Sciendo, vol. 23(1), pages 9-18, March.
    11. Sarmiza Pencea & Iulia Monica Oehler-Sincai, 2015. "Investment-Led Development In China – From Past Accomplishments, To Future Challenges," Romanian Economic Business Review, Romanian-American University, vol. 10(2), pages 87-102, June.
    12. M. Albert & C. Jude & C. Rebillard, 2015. "The Long Landing Scenario: Rebalancing from Overinvestment and Excessive Credit Growth. Implications for Potential Growth in China," Working papers 572, Banque de France.
    13. Dieppe, Alistair & Gilhooly, Robert & Han, Jenny & Korhonen, Iikka & Lodge, David, 2018. "The transition of China to sustainable growth – implications for the global economy and the euro area," Occasional Paper Series 206, European Central Bank.
    14. Ding Lu, 2011. "Transition of China’s growth pattern," Frontiers of Economics in China, Springer;Higher Education Press, vol. 6(4), pages 535-555, December.
    15. Tao Gu, 2020. "The behavior of private entrepreneurs in an imperfect financial market," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 40(1), pages 349-358.
    16. van Treeck, Till. & Sturn, Simon., 2012. "Income inequality as a cause of the Great Recession? : A survey of current debates," ILO Working Papers 994709343402676, International Labour Organization.
    17. Gu, Tao, 2019. "Wage determination and fixed capital investment in an imperfect financial market: the case of China," MPRA Paper 95986, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Satriya Sulistiyo Aji & Young Sang Kim & Kook Young Ahn & Young Duk Lee, 2018. "Life-Cycle Cost Minimization of Gas Turbine Power Cycles for Distributed Power Generation Using Sequential Quadratic Programming Method," Energies, MDPI, vol. 11(12), pages 1-21, December.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • O5 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies

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