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Investment and saving in China

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  • Kuijs, Louis

Abstract

The author analyzes sectoral patterns of investment and saving in China-over time and compared with other countries-to shed light on the factors driving high investment and on how saving is channeled into investment. The findings inform several policy debates. Key findings include: (1) investment by enterprises distinguishes China from other countries and explains most of the variation over time; (2) high household saving explains only a part of the large difference in national saving between China and other countries-the majority is explained by high saving of the government and enterprises (through retained earnings); and (3) only about one-third of enterprise investment is financed via the financial sector, a lower share than in the early 1990s. The author also explores explanations behind high saving of the government and enterprises. His findings have three sets of policy implications. First, the identified financing patterns put in perspective the exposure of the financial sector to investment-related risks but, against a background of concerns about suboptimal allocation of capital, bring to the fore corporate governance, dividend policy, and transparency and accountability of public funds. Second, the findings suggest policy adjustments that would help in achieving the government's goals of improving the quality of growth and increasing the role of consumption. Third, long term saving prospects and the impact of financial sector and pension policies are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Kuijs, Louis, 2005. "Investment and saving in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3633, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3633
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Luis Servén, 2000. "What Drives Private Saving Across the World?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(2), pages 165-181, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Yuji Horioka & Junmin Wan, 2007. "The Determinants of Household Saving in China: A Dynamic Panel Analysis of Provincial Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 2077-2096, December.
    2. Guonan Ma & Haiwen Zhou, 2009. "China's Large and Rising Net Foreign Asset Position," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 17(5), pages 1-21, September.
    3. Xie, Shiqing & Mo, Taiping, 2015. "Differences in corporate saving rates in China: Ownership, monopoly, and financial development," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 25-34.
    4. Tam, Leona & Dholakia, Utpal M., 2011. "Delay and duration effects of time frames on personal savings estimates and behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 142-152, March.
    5. Edward Whitfield, 2016. "China and the Great Doubling: Racing to the Top or Bottom of Global Labour Standards?," Global Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 7(1), pages 37-45, February.
    6. Yilmaz Akyuz, 2015. "The Global Economic Crisis and Asian Developing Countries: Impact, Policy Response and Medium Term Prospects," Working Papers id:7062, eSocialSciences.
    7. John Knight & Wei Wang, 2011. "China’s Macroeconomic Imbalances: Causes and Consequences," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(9), pages 1476-1506, September.
    8. Lipschitz, Leslie & Rochon, Céline & Verdier, Geneviève, 2011. "A real model of transitional growth and competitiveness in China," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 267-283, August.
    9. Kumhof, Michael & Yan, Isabel, 2016. "Balance-of-payments anti-crises," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 186-202.
    10. Philip R. Lane & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2006. "The international financial integration of China and India," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    11. Li Cui & Mr. Jahangir Aziz, 2007. "Explaining China’s Low Consumption: The Neglected Role of Household Income," IMF Working Papers 2007/181, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2006. "Rebalancing Growth in China: A Three‐Handed Approach," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(4), pages 1-20, August.
    13. Chen, Binkai & Lu, Ming & Zhong, Ninghua, 2015. "How Urban Segregation Distorts Chinese Migrants’ Consumption?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 133-146.
    14. Shenglong Liu & Angang Hu, 2013. "Household Saving in China: The Keynesian Hypothesis, Life-Cycle Hypothesis, and Precautionary Saving Theory," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 51(4), pages 360-387, December.
    15. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2006. "Neither a borrower nor a lender: Does China's zero net foreign asset position make economic sense?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 943-971, July.
    16. Shaojie Zhou & Junsen Zhang, 2016. "Chinese Saving Rates from 1953 to 2012: Trends, Compositions and Prospects," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 227-252, May.
    17. Mr. Jahangir Aziz, 2006. "Rebalancing China’s Economy: What Does Growth Theory Tell Us?," IMF Working Papers 2006/291, International Monetary Fund.
    18. Qi, Li & Prime, Penelope B., 2009. "Market reforms and consumption puzzles in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 388-401, September.
    19. Hao, Yu & Zhang, Zong-Yong & Yang, Chuxiao & Wu, Haitao, 2021. "Does structural labor change affect CO2 emissions? Theoretical and empirical evidence from China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 171(C).
    20. Feltenstein, Andrew & Rochon, Céline & Shamloo, Maral, 2010. "High growth and low consumption in East Asia: How to improve welfare while avoiding financial failures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 25-36, January.
    21. Li, Jie & Wu, Yu & Xiao, Jing Jian, 2020. "The impact of digital finance on household consumption: Evidence from China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 317-326.
    22. Kuijs, Louis, 2006. "How will China's saving-investment balance evolve ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3958, The World Bank.
    23. Mr. Ray Brooks & Mr. Steven A Barnett, 2006. "What’s Driving Investment in China?," IMF Working Papers 2006/265, International Monetary Fund.

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    Keywords

    Banks&Banking Reform; Economic Theory&Research; Economic Investment&Savings; Environmental Economics&Policies; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism;
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