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Productivity Growth of the Non-Tradable Sectors in China

  • Dong He

    (Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research)

  • Wenlang Zhang

    (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

  • Gaofeng Han

    (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

  • Tommy Wu

    (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)

Little is known about the total factor productivity of the non-tradable sectors in China. In this paper we estimate productivity growth of the non-tradable sectors by studying the relative price movements of the non-tradable sectors vis-a-vis the tradable sectors, i.e. changes in the internal real exchange rate. We find that prices of the non-tradable sectors have risen significantly faster than those of the tradable sectors, and China's internal real exchange rate has appreciated at a faster pace than the renminbi real effective exchange rate. We also find the non-tradable sectors have seen much lower productivity growth than the tradable sectors, and such productivity differentials are large when compared to other economies. We argue that if productivity growth in the non-tradable sectors remains slow, China will likely see more difficulty in rebalancing its growth pattern and higher inflationary pressures in the medium term. As such, it is important for the authorities to take policy actions to raise productivity growth in the non-tradable sectors.

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Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 082012.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:082012
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  1. Dennis Tao Yang & Vivian Chen & Ryan Monarch, 2009. "Rising Wages: Has China Lost Its Global Labor Advantage?," Economics Program Working Papers 09-03, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
  2. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Knight, John & Deng, Quheng & Li, Shi, 2011. "The puzzle of migrant labour shortage and rural labour surplus in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 585-600.
  4. Rudolfs Bems, 2008. "Aggregate Investment Expenditureson Tradable and Nontradable Goods," IMF Working Papers 08/45, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Brandt, Loren & Van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Zhang, Yifan, 2012. "Creative accounting or creative destruction? Firm-level productivity growth in Chinese manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 339-351.
  6. Masters, William A. & Ianchovichina, Elena, 1998. "Measuring exchange rate misalignment: Inflation differentials and domestic relative prices," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 465-477, March.
  7. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  9. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. repec:fpo:wpaper:6 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Rudolfs Bems, 2008. "Aggregate Investment Expenditures on Tradable and Nontradable Goods," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 852-883, October.
  12. Martin Wagner & Jaroslava Hlouskova, 2004. "What's Really the Story with this Balassa-Samuelson Effect in the CEECs?," Diskussionsschriften dp0416, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
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