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Competition Policy, Corporate Saving and China's Current Account Surplus

  • Rod Tyers

    ()

China’s industrial reforms have left many key industries dominated by single or small numbers of firms, most of which remain state owned. Until recently, these firms have not been required to pay dividends to the state and the recent surge in China’s growth has made them very profitable, with their economic profits adding 20% of GDP to corporate saving. This bolsters the overall saving-investment gap and hence China’s controversial current account surplus. In other countries, oligopolistic industries tend to be taxed more heavily and they are commonly subjected to price regulation. This study offers an economy-wide analysis of approaches to oligopoly rents in China. The results suggest that, while policy changes targeting national saving, including increased corporate taxation, expansionary fiscal policy and SOE privatisation all help to control the external imbalance, they tend also to turn demand inward, inducing higher oligopoly rents and slower growth. Competition policy, embodying both price cap regulation and free entry, proves more effective both in controlling the external imbalance and in fostering continued growth.

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Paper provided by Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics in its series ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics with number 2008-496.

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Length: 52 Pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2008-496
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  1. John Fernald & Brent Neiman, 2006. "Measuring the miracle: market imperfections and Asia's growth experience," Working Paper Series 2006-17, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Charles Yuji Horioka & Junmin Wan, 2006. "The Determinants of Household Saving in China: A Dynamic Panel Analysis of Provincial Data," ISER Discussion Paper 0676, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University, revised Sep 2007.
  3. Bradley, Ian & Price, Catherine, 1988. "The Economic Regulation of Private Industries by Price Constraints," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(1), pages 99-106, September.
  4. Aart Kraay, 2000. "Household Saving in China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 545-570, September.
  5. Rod Tyers & Ling Huang, 2009. "Combating China's Export Contraction: Fiscal Expansion or Accelerated Industrial Reform?," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2009-501, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  6. Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2008. "Structural Estimation and Solution of International Trade Models with Heterogeneous Firms," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/89, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  7. Rees, Lucy & Tyers, Rod, 2004. "Trade reform in the short run: China's WTO accession," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 1-31, February.
  8. Rod Tyers & Iain Bain, 2008. "American and European Financial Shocks: Implications for Chinese Economic Performance," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2008-491, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  9. Rod Tyers & Ying Zhang, 2010. "Appreciating The Renminbi," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 10-13, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
  10. Rod Tyers, 2005. "Trade Reform and Manufacturing Pricing Behavior in Four Archetype Asia-Pacific Economies ," Asian Economic Journal, East Asian Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 181-203, 06.
  11. Don, H. & Gunasekera, B. H. & Tyers, Rod, 1990. "Imperfect competition and returns to scale in a newly industrialising economy : A general equilibrium analysis of Korean trade policy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 223-247, November.
  12. Harris, Richard, 1984. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-32, December.
  13. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China's Low Consumption; The Neglected Role of Household Income," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
  15. Eichengreen, Barry, 2006. "Global imbalances: The new economy, the dark matter, the savvy investor, and the standard analysis," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 645-652, September.
  16. Rod Tyers & Jane Golley & Bu Yongxiang & Iain Bain, 2007. "China's Economic Growth and its Real Exchange Rate," DEGIT Conference Papers c012_014, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  17. Brennan, Timothy J, 1989. "Regulating by Capping Prices," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 133-47, June.
  18. Franco Modigliani & Shi Larry Cao, 2004. "The Chinese Saving Puzzle and the Life-Cycle Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 145-170, March.
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