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The Varying Shadow of China's Banking System

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  • Xiaodong Zhu

Abstract

The rapid rise of shadow banking activities in China since 2009 has attracted a great deal of attention in both academia and policy circles. Most existing studies and commentary on China’s shadow banking have treated it as a recent phenomenon that appeared after the Global Financial Crisis and China’s response to it. In this paper, I argue that shadow banking is not a new phenomenon; it has always been a part of China’s financial system since the 1980s, and arose from the need to get around various lending restrictions imposed by the central government on banks. I also emphasize that there are two types of shadow banking activities, those initiated by banks and those initiated by local governments or state-owned enterprises. I provide evidence suggesting that the shadow banking activities initiated by banks tend to be efficiency enhancing, but those initiated by local governments and state-owned enterprises are more likely to be associated with misallocation of capital. The policy implication is that the central government should implement policies and regulations that break the link between financial institutions and local governments or state-owned enterprises.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaodong Zhu, 2018. "The Varying Shadow of China's Banking System," Working Papers tecipa-605, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-605
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    File URL: https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-605.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yi Huang & Marco Pagano & Ugo Panizza, 2016. "Public Debt and Private Firm Funding: Evidence from Chinese Cities," IHEID Working Papers 10-2016, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Aug 2016.
    2. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:47:y:2016:i:2016-02:p:129-181 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Kaiji Chen & Jue Ren & Tao Zha, 2017. "The Nexus of Monetary Policy and Shadow Banking in China," NBER Working Papers 23377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Chong-En Bai & Chang-Tai Hsieh & Zheng (Michael) Song, 2016. "The Long Shadow of China’s Fiscal Expansion," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 47(2 (Fall)), pages 129-181.
    7. Zheng Song & Kinda Hachem, 2015. "The Rise of China's Shadow Banking System," 2015 Meeting Papers 931, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Banking System; Shadow Banking; Capital Allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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