• 详情 The Political Economy of COVID-19 in China
    This research analyses the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on China's economy, examining the divergent epidemic prevention policies used by local governments. Empirical evidence highlights that the emergence of COVID-19 cases correlates with a 1.13% reduction in quarterly GDP growth. However, when a city's secretary maintains an informal ties with the provincial secretary, GDP growth remains resilient. Analyzing micro-level data, we observe that city secretaries with informal ties tend to enact flexible anti-contagion measures. This flexibility stems from a decreased likelihood of reprimand for virus transmission. Such shields exclusively manifests when incumbent provincial secretaries share informal ties with central leadership. This underscores the interplay of political networks in shaping localized economic responses.
  • 详情 China’s Pursuit of Central Bank Digital Currency: Reasons, Prospects and Implications
    Amongst major economies, China has been taking a lead in the development of central bank digital currency (CBDC), which has generated widespread interest and impact around the globe. China’s CBDC, commonly known as e-CNY, is designed with several distinctive features, enabling it to compare favorably to other payment methods such as credit cards, mobile payment, unbacked cryptocurrency, and stablecoins. A variety of social, economic, political, and regulatory reasons can be identified to help explain China’s active pursuit of CBDC. However, the prospect of success will be affected by many factors and may vary between the domestic and international markets. This paper argues that the adoption of eCNY will likely succeed domestically, but may face more challenges in the international markets. The development of e-CNY seems to have created a catfish effect on other major economies in the race for CBDC. It is not fully clear, however, that the CBDC race will be better explained by the first-mover or the late-mover advantage theory. The CBDC project will have both public and private law implications, and several legal issues warrant particular attention in relation to the legal status of CBCD, the role and responsibility of the central bank, legal remedies for losses suffered by CBDC users from cybersecurity issues and operational problems, and the issue of data privacy and protection.
  • 详情 Monitoring Fintech Firms: Evidence from the Collapse of Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms
    In recent years, numerous Chinese peer-to-peer (P2P) lending platforms have collapsed, prompting us to investigate the regulation and monitoring of the fintech industry. Using a unique dataset of P2P lending platforms in China, we examine the effect of government monitoring on platform collapses. Exploiting platforms’ locational proximity to regulatory offices as a proxy for government monitoring, we show that greater geographical distance results in a higher likelihood of platform collapse. Specifically, for every 10% increase in the driving distance from the platform to the local regulatory office, the likelihood of collapse increases by 10.2%. To establish causality, we conduct a differencein-differencesanalysis that exploits two exogenous shocks: government office relocation and subway station openings. We further explore two underlying channels: the information channel through which greater regulatory distance reduces the likelihood of regulators’ onsite visits and the resource constraint channel, through which greater regulatory distance significantly increases the local regulatory office’s monitoring costs. Overall, this study highlights the importance of onsite regulatory monitoring to ensure the viability of online lending platforms.
  • 详情 Do Anticipated Government Environmental Audits Improve Firm Productivity?Evidence from China
    We investigate the impacts of anticipated government environmental audits (GEAs) on firm productivity. We use a 2009 policy set forth by China’s National Audit Office that required GEAs of local governments as an exogenous event to examine the effect of the policy announcement on firms’ total factor productivity (TFP). Our difference-in-differences tests indicate that TFP in heavily polluting firms improved more than other firms’ TFP after the announcement of the policy. We also find that to raise TFP, firms engage in green invention patents or receive government environmental subsidies. In addition, our cross-sectional analysis suggests that firms in regions where governments have strong environmental enforcement or that are in the eastern regions of China increase TFP more.
  • 详情 Minimum Wage and Strikes: Evidence from China
    This study examines whether and how minimum wage hikes affect workers’ strikes in the context of China. We show that minimum wage significantly increases strikes at the city-level, and this effect is mainly motivated by demands for unpaid wages and severance pay. Mechanism analysis reveals that workers’ strikes are caused by inevitable involuntary unemployment arising from wage hikes. In addition, the increase in workers’ strike activities is more significant in tertiary industries, which require a larger share of low-wage workers and in regions with a higher degree of digital economy and innovation. Our findings provide clear policy implications for policymakers concerned with minimum wage and unemployment.
  • 详情 Environmental Protection Experience of Secretaries and Cod Regulation: Firm-Level Evidence from China
    Using the firm-level data of the Chinese industrial sector from 1998 to 2010, this study investigates the impact of the previous environmental protection experience of prefecture-level Communist Party secretaries on the COD regulation within the secretaries’ respective jurisdictions. The study finds that the secretaries’ previous environmental protection experience has reduced the COD discharge intensity. The duration of the previous environmental protection experience is selected as an instrumental variable and the endogeneity is further addressed; the research conclusion remains unchanged. However, this negative impact only lasts for two years and presents an unclear long-term impact. The negative effect on COD discharge intensity caused by the previous environmental protection experience is affected by the mandatory regulation pressure from the central government and the overall polluting density of the sub-sectors. Secretaries with previous environmental protection experience do not reduce the COD discharge intensity by using the punishment mechanism of increasing sewage charges. The secretaries, instead, encourage enterprises to use clean production technology, save water resources, and reduce the produced COD level. Also, the secretaries place an emphasis on the treatment of wastewater pollutants, thus reducing the COD discharge intensity. The conclusions of this study can provide decisionmaking reference for the selection and training of local officials, with the goal of environmental regulation.
  • 详情 Politically Smart: Political Sentiment Signaling of Private Enterprises
    We examine communication of political connections in corporate China, and show that politically inclined positive words—words in connotation of political sentiment—serve as a distinct and effective signaling device for corporate political connections. Using a large sample of corporate news, we find that news’ political sentiment, instead of orthodox political measures such as occurrences of political nouns and political entities, reflects executives’ political connections for private enterprises, and is related to rent-seeking benefits in government subsidy, tax refund, financing constraints and political risk. Our results demonstrate that political sentiment is an effective way to decode subtle corporate political connections in modern China’s “Mind Politics” environment that infiltrates into private corporations.
  • 详情 I Am Who I Am, Share Repurchases Under Economic Policy Uncertainty: Evidence from China
    Using sample of Chinese listed firms from Q1 2017 to Q4 2022, this article examines the impact of economic policy uncertainty on share repurchases. We find that economic policy uncertainty significantly increases the probability and scale of open market share repurchases. Private enterprises, government-supported enterprises, innovative enterprises, and investment hotspot enterprises repurchased more shares during periods of high economic policy uncertainty. Additionally, the market value of repurchase programs issued during periods of high economic policy uncertainty is larger. We also discover that economic policy uncertainty substantially influences the characteristics, timing, and outcomes of the repurchase programs. Lastly, this article confirms that share repurchase behavior has a similar effect to voluntary disclosures and can alleviate the information asymmetry triggered by economic policy uncertainty. In summary, Chinese listed firms have resorted to more share repurchases during periods of high economic policy uncertainty to convey their actual value and boost investor confidence, aligning with the signaling motive. Open market share repurchases surface as an efficacious instrument to cope with the risk from economic policy uncertainty.
  • 详情 Government Subsidies and Enterprises' Innovation Performance: Effects and Mechanism
    Based on the matching data of China’s industrial enterprise database and enterprise patent database, this study investigates the effect and mechanism of government subsidy policy on the innovation performance of Chinese enterprises using the panel data matching and multi-period difference-in-difference model. Results show that the incentive effect of government subsidy policy on enterprises’ innovation performance is dominant, thus improving the innovation performance of Chinese manufacturing enterprises. However, the promotion effect on lowquality innovation is greater than that on high-quality innovation. Moreover, the government subsidy policy affects the innovation performance of enterprises by stimulating enterprises to increase their R&D investment, increasing the spending on rent-seeking and taking on more social responsibility. The government subsidy policy significantly affects the innovation performance of non-state-owned enterprises, small and medium-sized enterprises, and technology-intensive industries. The impact of government subsidizing policies varies regionally. The policy effect on enterprise innovation performance is significant in the eastern and central regions but not in the western and northeast regions.
  • 详情 Can Green Credit Promote Green Technology Innovation? Evidence from Heavy Pollution Enterprises in China
    In the process of green transformation of China's economy, it is of great practical significance to study the impact of green finance in supporting the development of the real economy, especially the impact of green credit on enterprise innovation, in order to promote the green transformation of enterprises, industrial structure upgrading and sustainable economic development. This paper takes green credit as a perspective and introduces it into the analytical framework of the impact of environmental regulation on corporate green innovation, through theoretical mechanism analysis and empirical testing, in order to reveal the impact and mechanism of green credit on corporate green innovation. It is found that green credit can effectively promote green innovation in heavy polluting enterprises, and it is mainly reflected in the increase of green utility model patent applications with a low degree of inventiveness. The promotion effect of green credit on green innovation is more obvious in regions with lower levels of economic development. Further mechanism analysis shows that green credit policy promotes green innovation of heavy polluting enterprises mainly through the incentive effect brought by changing financing environment and the pressure effect brought by increasing market competition. The findings of this paper can provide references for policy-making departments, banks and enterprises.