IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/12755.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Return to Capital in China

Author

Listed:
  • Chong-En Bai
  • Chang-Tai Hsieh
  • Yingyi Qian

Abstract

China's investment rate is one of the highest in the world, which naturally leads one to suspect that the return to capital in China must be quite low. Using the data from China's national accounts, we estimate the rate of return to capital in China. We find that the aggregate rate of return to capital averaged 25% during 1978-1993, fell during 1993-1998, and has become flat at roughly 20% since 1998. This evidence suggests that the aggregate return to capital in China does not appear to be significantly lower than the return to capital in the rest of the world. We also find that the standard deviation of the rate of return to capital across Chinese provinces has fallen since 1978.

Suggested Citation

  • Chong-En Bai & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Yingyi Qian, 2006. "The Return to Capital in China," NBER Working Papers 12755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12755
    Note: EFG IFM
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12755.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Boyreau-Debray, Genevieve & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2004. "Pitfalls of a State-Dominated Financial System: The Case of China," CEPR Discussion Papers 4471, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Why Doesn't Capital Flow from Rich to Poor Countries?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 92-96, May.
    3. Douglas Gollin, 2002. "Getting Income Shares Right," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 458-474, April.
    4. Holz, Carsten A., 2006. "New capital estimates for China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 142-185.
    5. Kui-Wai Li, 2003. "China's Capital and Productivity Measurement Using Financial Resources," Working Papers 851, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    6. Zuliu F. Hu & Mohsin S. Khan, 1997. "Why Is China Growing So Fast?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(1), pages 103-131, March.
    7. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568.
    8. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2002. "Editorial in "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16"," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    10. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth S. Rogoff (ed.), 2002. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026252323x, March.
    11. 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.
    12. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth Rogoff, 2002. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern02-1, July.
    13. Ben S. Bernanke & Refet S. G├╝rkaynak, 2002. "Is Growth Exogenous? Taking Mankiw, Romer, and Weil Seriously," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 11-72 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Gregory C. Chow, 1993. "Capital Formation and Economic Growth in China," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 809-842.
    15. Perkins, Dwight Heald, 1988. "Reforming China's Economic System," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 601-645, June.
    16. Wang Xiaolu & Meng Lian, 2001. "A reevaluation of China's economic growth," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 338-346.
    17. Zhang, Xiaobo & Tan, Kong-Yam, 2004. "Blunt to sharpened razor," DSGD discussion papers 13, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    18. Alwyn Young, 2003. "Gold into Base Metals: Productivity Growth in the People's Republic of China during the Reform Period," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1220-1261, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

    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:nbr:nberwo:12755. 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: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.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 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.

    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.