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What's Driving Investment in China?

  • Steven Barnett
  • Ray Brooks
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    Investment has grown rapidly in China in recent years, reaching more than 40 percent of GDP. Despite good progress on bank and enterprise reforms, weaknesses remain that could contribute to inefficient investment decisions. Manufacturing, infrastructure, and real estate have been the drivers of fixed asset investment. Econometric analysis presented in the paper suggests that manufacturing investment is strongly correlated with firms' liquidity, largely retained earnings. Analysis of residential real estate investment shows that it is weakly correlated with real household income growth and real mortgage interest rates. A policy implication of these findings is that reducing liquidity in firms, for example by requiring state-owned enterprises to pay dividends to the government, and using monetary policy to reduce liquidity increase real interest rates, would slow investment in manufacturing and real estate.

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    Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/265.

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    Length: 39
    Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/265
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    1. Liu Hongyu & Yun W. Park & Zheng Siqi, 2002. "The Interaction between Housing Investment and Economic Growth in China," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 5(1), pages 40-60.
    2. Eswar Prasad & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "The Chinese Approach to Capital Inflows: Patterns and Possible Explanations," NBER Chapters, in: Capital Controls and Capital Flows in Emerging Economies: Policies, Practices and Consequences, pages 421-480 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Kuijs, Louis, 2005. "Investment and saving in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3633, The World Bank.
    4. Shang-Jin Wei & Genevieve Boyreau-Debray, 2004. "Can China Grow Faster? a Diagnosison the Fragmentation of the Domestic Capital Market," IMF Working Papers 04/76, International Monetary Fund.
    5. Wensheng Peng & Matthew Yiu & Dickson Tam, 2005. "The Property Market and the Macroeconomy of the Mainland: A Cross Region Study," Working Papers 0512, Hong Kong Monetary Authority.
    6. Sean Dougherty & Richard Herd, 2005. "Fast-Falling Barriers and Growing Concentration: The Emergence of a Private Economy in China," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 471, OECD Publishing.
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