IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hku/wpaper/201512.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Model of China's State Capitalism

Author

Listed:
  • Xi Li

    (Department of Accounting, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Xuewen Liu

    (Department of Finance, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Yong Wang

    (Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
    Institute for Emerging Market Studies, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

Abstract

Despite consistently lower productivity, China’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) exhibited higher profitability than non-SOEs after 2001 while the opposite was true in the 1990s, even with markets becoming increasingly liberalized and GDP growth remaining high throughout the whole period. To address this growth puzzle, we develop a general-equilibrium model based on the following under-appreciated vertical structure featured in China’s state capitalism: SOEs monopolize key upstream industries, whereas downstream industries are largely open to private competition. We show how the upstream SOEs extract rents from the liberalized downstream industries in the process of structural change and globalization. The unprecedented prosperity of SOEs is thus symptomatic of the incompleteness of market oriented reforms, distorting factor prices, impeding structural change, depressing GDP, and reducing public welfare. We also explain how this vertical structure emerged endogenously, and why this development model of state capitalism is not sustainable. General implications for other countries are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Xi Li & Xuewen Liu & Yong Wang, 2015. "A Model of China's State Capitalism," HKUST IEMS Working Paper Series 2015-12, HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies, revised Feb 2015.
  • Handle: RePEc:hku:wpaper:201512
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://iems.ust.hk/assets/publications/working-papers-2015/iemswp2015-12.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. L. Rachel Ngai & Christopher A. Pissarides, 2007. "Structural Change in a Multisector Model of Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(1), pages 429-443, March.
    2. Pol Antras & Davin Chor & Thibault Fally & Russell Hillberry, 2012. "Measuring the Upstreamness of Production and Trade Flows," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 412-416, May.
    3. David Dollar & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Das (Wasted) Kapital: Firm Ownership and Investment Efficiency in China," NBER Working Papers 13103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 707-720, October.
    5. Loren Brandt & Trevor Tombe & Xiadong Zhu, 2013. "Factor Market Distortions Across Time, Space, and Sectors in China," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 39-58, January.
    6. Zheng Song & Kjetil Storesletten & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2011. "Growing Like China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 196-233, February.
    7. 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.
    8. Wang, Yong, 2013. "Fiscal decentralization, endogenous policies, and foreign direct investment: Theory and evidence from China and India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 107-123.
    9. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
    10. Daron Acemoglu & Veronica Guerrieri, 2008. "Capital Deepening and Nonbalanced Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 467-498, June.
    11. Suqin Ge & Dennis Tao Yang, 2014. "Changes In China'S Wage Structure," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 300-336, April.
    12. Jiahua Che, 2009. "A Dynamic Model of Privatization with Endogenous Post-Privatization Performance," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 563-596.
    13. Gérard Roland, 2004. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026268148x, December.
    14. Uy, Timothy & Yi, Kei-Mu & Zhang, Jing, 2013. "Structural change in an open economy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 667-682.
    15. Ju, Jiandong & Lin, Justin Yifu & Wang, Yong, 2015. "Endowment structures, industrial dynamics, and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 244-263.
    16. Dekle, Robert & Vandenbroucke, Guillaume, 2012. "A quantitative analysis of China's structural transformation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 119-135.
    17. 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.
    18. repec:cup:jfinqa:v:46:y:2011:i:06:p:1831-1863_00 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2009. "How important are dual economy effects for aggregate productivity?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 325-334, March.
    20. Loren Brandt & Xiaodong Zhu, 2000. "Redistribution in a Decentralized Economy: Growth and Inflation in China under Reform," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 422-451, April.
    21. Guo, Di & Jiang, Kun & Kim, Byung-Yeon & Xu, Chenggang, 2014. "Political economy of private firms in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 286-303.
    22. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1992. "The Transition to a Market Economy: Pitfalls of Partial Reform," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 889-906.
    23. Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, December.
    24. Li, Wei, 1997. "The Impact of Economic Reform on the Performance of Chinese State Enterprises, 1980-1989," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1080-1106, October.
    25. Michael Bruno, 1972. "Market Distortions and Gradual Reform," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(3), pages 373-383.
    26. Liu, Jing & Cao, Shutao, 2011. "Productivity growth and ownership change in China: 1998-2007," MPRA Paper 34601, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 04 Sep 2011.
    27. Theodore Groves & Yongmiao Hong & John McMillan & Barry Naughton, 1994. "Autonomy and Incentives in Chinese State Enterprises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(1), pages 183-209.
    28. Ju, Jiandong & Lin, Justin Yifu & Wang, Yong, 2011. "Marshallian externality, industrial upgrading, and industrial policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5796, The World Bank.
    29. Li, Hongbin & Zhou, Li-An, 2005. "Political turnover and economic performance: the incentive role of personnel control in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1743-1762, September.
    30. Cao, Kang Hua & Birchenall, Javier A., 2013. "Agricultural productivity, structural change, and economic growth in post-reform China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 165-180.
    31. Nicholas R. Lardy, 2014. "Markets over Mao: The Rise of Private Business in China," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 6932, January.
    32. Bai, Chong-En & Du, Yingjuan & Tao, Zhigang & Tong, Sarah Y., 2004. "Local protectionism and regional specialization: evidence from China's industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 397-417, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Ting & Chanda, Areendam, 2018. "Manufacturing growth and local employment multipliers in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 515-543.
    2. Zheng Liu & Pengfei Wang & Zhiwei Xu, 2021. "Interest Rate Liberalization and Capital Misallocations," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 373-419, April.
    3. Zhang, Hongyong, 2018. "Political connections and antidumping investigations: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 34-41.
    4. Chang, Xiao & An, Tongliang & Tam, Pui Sun & Gu, Xinhua, 2020. "National savings rate and sectoral income distribution: An empirical look at China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    5. Fang, Jing & He, Hui & Li, Nan, 2020. "China's rising IQ (Innovation Quotient) and growth: Firm-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
    6. Chor, Davin & Manova, Kalina & Yu, Zhihong, 2021. "Growing like China: Firm performance and global production line position," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    7. He, Hui & Huang, Feng & Liu, Zheng & Zhu, Dongming, 2018. "Breaking the “iron rice bowl:” Evidence of precautionary savings from the chinese state-owned enterprises reform," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 94-113.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Yong Wang & Xuewen Liu & Xi Li, 2013. "A Model of China's State Capitalism," 2013 Meeting Papers 853, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Ye, Longfeng & Robertson, Peter E., 2019. "Hitting the Great Wall: Structural change and China's growth slowdown," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 1-1.
    3. Chadwick Curtis, 2016. "Economic Reforms and the Evolution of China's Total Factor Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 21, pages 225-245, July.
    4. Wu, Guiying Laura, 2018. "Capital misallocation in China: Financial frictions or policy distortions?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 203-223.
    5. Cai, Wenbiao, 2015. "Structural change accounting with labor market distortions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 54-64.
    6. Samuel Marden, 2016. "The agricultural roots of industrial development: ‘forward linkages’ in reform era China," Working Paper Series 09116, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    7. Liao, Junmin, 2020. "The rise of the service sector in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    8. Samuel Marden, 2016. "The agricultural roots of industrial development: ‘forward linkages’ in reform era China," Working Paper Series 9116, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    9. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    10. Cao, Kang Hua & Birchenall, Javier A., 2013. "Agricultural productivity, structural change, and economic growth in post-reform China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 165-180.
    11. Tasso Adamopoulos & Loren Brandt & Jessica Leight & Diego Restuccia, 2017. "Misallocation, Selection and Productivity: A Quantitative Analysis with Panel Data from China," Working Papers tecipa-593, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    12. Chen, Lili & Guo, Shaoyu & Lu, Jian & Gerschewski, Stephan, 2021. "Outward FDI and efficiency in within-firm resource allocation – Evidence from firm-level data of China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    13. Loren Brandt & Trevor Tombe & Xiadong Zhu, 2013. "Factor Market Distortions Across Time, Space, and Sectors in China," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 39-58, January.
    14. Cheng Chen & Wei Tian & Miaojie Yu, 2019. "Outward FDI and Domestic Input Distortions: Evidence from Chinese Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 129(624), pages 3025-3057.
    15. Anton Cheremukhin & Mikhail Golosov & Sergei Guriev & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2015. "The Economy of People’s Republic of China from 1953," NBER Working Papers 21397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Zheng Li & Jorge Martinez-Vazquez, 2018. "Fiscal Decentralization and Interregional Capital Misallocation: Evidence from China," International Center for Public Policy Working Paper Series, at AYSPS, GSU paper1816, International Center for Public Policy, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University.
    17. Wang, Yong, 2015. "A model of sequential reforms and economic convergence: The case of China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1-26.
    18. Loren Brandt & Trevor Tombe & Xiadong Zhu, 2013. "Factor Market Distortions Across Time, Space, and Sectors in China," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 39-58, January.
    19. Coricelli, Fabrizio & Ravasan, Farshad R, 2017. "Structural Change and the China Syndrome: Baumol vs Trade Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 12069, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Guo, Kaiming & Hang, Jing & Yan, Se, 2021. "Servicification of investment and structural transformation: The case of China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    structural change; growth and development; state capitalism; Chinese economy; state-owned enterprises;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • P31 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Socialist Enterprises and Their Transitions

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hku:wpaper:201512. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ieusthk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Carla Chan (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ieusthk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.