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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. Aart Kraay, 2000. "Household Saving in China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 545-570, September.
  2. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Brennan, Timothy J, 1989. "Regulating by Capping Prices," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 133-47, June.
  5. Rod Tyers & Iain Bain, 2008. "American And European Financial Shocks: Implications For Chinese Economic Performance," CAMA Working Papers 2008-08, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  6. 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.
  7. Rod Tyers & Jane Golley & Bu Yongxiang & Ian Bain, 2006. "China's Economic Growth and its Real Exchange Rate," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2006-476, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China's Low Consumption; The Neglected Role of Household Income," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
  10. John Fernald & Brent Neiman, 2010. "Growth accounting with misallocation: Or, doing less with more in Singapore," Working Paper Series 2010-18, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Rod Tyers & Iain Bain, 2007. "Appreciating the Renminbi," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2007-483, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  12. Richard Harris, 1983. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 524, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  13. Russell H. Hillberry & Edward J. Balistreri & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2007. "Structural Estimation and Solution of International Trade Models with Heterogeneous Firms," DEGIT Conference Papers c012_038, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  14. Rod Tyers & Ling Huang, 2009. "Combating China'S Export Contraction: Fiscal Expansion Or Accelerated Industrial Reform?," CAMA Working Papers 2009-02, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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