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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 Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2008-21.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2008-21
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  1. Rod Tyers & Iain Bain, 2007. "Appreciating the Renminbi," Departmental Working Papers 2007-09, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  4. Jahangir Aziz & Li Cui, 2007. "Explaining China's Low Consumption; The Neglected Role of Household Income," IMF Working Papers 07/181, International Monetary Fund.
  5. John Fernald & Brent Neiman, 2011. "Growth Accounting with Misallocation: Or, Doing Less with More in Singapore," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 29-74, April.
  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 & Iain Bain, 2007. "China's Economic Growth and its Real Exchange Rate," DEGIT Conference Papers c012_014, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Brennan, Timothy J, 1989. "Regulating by Capping Prices," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 133-47, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Don Gunasekera & Rod Tyers, 1989. "Imperfect Competition and Returns to Scale in a Newly Industrialising Economy: A General Equilibrium Analysis of Korean Trade Policy," School of Economics Working Papers 1989-04, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  16. Aart Kraay, 2000. "Household Saving in China," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(3), pages 545-570, September.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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