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How will China's saving-investment balance evolve ?

  • Kuijs, Louis
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    This paper investigates how China's saving, investment, and saving-investment balance will evolvein the decades ahead. Household saving in China is relatively high compared with OECD countries. However, much of China's high economywide saving, and the difference between China and other countries, are due to unusually high enterprise and government saving. Moreover, cross-country empirical analysis shows that economywide saving and investment in China are higher than what would be expected, even adjusting for differences in economic structure. Combined, these findings suggest that much of China's high saving is the result of policies particular to China. Looking ahead, the econometric results suggest that purely on the basis of projected structural developments-including development, changes in economic structure, urbanization, and demographics-saving and investment would both decline only mildly in the coming two decades, with ambiguous impact on the current account surplus. However, the potential effect on saving, investment, and the saving-investment balance of several policy adjustments could be large. Several of these policies are identified and their likely impact assessed and quantified. This exercise suggests that rebalancing along these lines should reduce both saving and the current account surplus over time, although the surplus is unlikely to turn into a deficit soon.

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    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2006/06/28/000016406_20060628102757/Rendered/PDF/wps3958.pdf
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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3958.

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    Date of creation: 01 Jul 2006
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3958
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    1. 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.
    2. Kuijs, Louis, 2005. "Investment and saving in China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3633, The World Bank.
    3. 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.
    4. Hans Fehr & Sabine Jokisch & Laurence J Kotlikoff, 2006. "Will China Eat Our Lunch or Take Us to Dinner? Simulating the Transition Paths of the US, EU, Japan and China," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Christopher Kent & Anna Park & Daniel Rees (ed.), Demography and Financial Markets Reserve Bank of Australia.
    5. Chow, Gregory C., 1993. "How and why China succeeded in her economic reform," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 117-128.
    6. LAN LU & IAN M. McDONALD, 2006. "Does China Save Too Much?," The Singapore Economic Review (SER), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 51(03), pages 283-301.
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