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A Quantitative Evaluation of the Housing Provident Fund Program in China


  • Xiaoqing Zhou


The Housing Provident Fund (HPF) is the largest public housing program in China. It was created in 1999 to enhance homeownership. This program involves a mandatory saving scheme based on labor income. Past deposits are refunded when the worker purchases a house or retires. Moreover, the program provides mortgages at subsidized rates to facilitate these home purchases. I calibrate a heterogeneous-agent life-cycle model to quantify the effects of these policies. My analysis shows that a housing program with these features is expected to raise the rate of homeownership by 8.7 percentage points and to increase the average home size by 20%. I discuss the economic mechanisms by which these outcomes are achieved and which features of the HPF program are most effective. I also consider several extensions of the model such as requiring employers to contribute to the program and allowing renters to withdraw funds from the HPF.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaoqing Zhou, 2020. "A Quantitative Evaluation of the Housing Provident Fund Program in China," Working Papers 2008, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddwp:87678
    DOI: 10.24149/wp2008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Xiaoqing Zhou, 2018. "Home Equity Extraction and the Boom-Bust Cycle in Consumption and Residential Investment," Staff Working Papers 18-6, Bank of Canada.
    2. Richard J. Buttimer Jr. & Anthony Yanxiang Gu & Tyler T. Yang, 2004. "The Chinese Housing Provident Fund," International Real Estate Review, Global Social Science Institute, vol. 7(1), pages 1-30.
    3. Songtao Wang & Su Han Chan & Bohua Xu, 2012. "The Estimation and Determinants of the Price Elasticity of Housing Supply: Evidence from China," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 34(3), pages 311-344.
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    More about this item


    Public policy; Housing Provident Fund; Policy evaluation; China; Life-cycle model; Homeownership;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • H3 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents
    • R2 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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