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  • Author: Danny Quah
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: This paper studies growth and inequality in China and India—two economies that account for a third of the world's population. By modelling growth and inequality as components in a joint stochastic process, the paper calibrates the impact each has on different welfare indicators and on the personal income distribution across the joint population of the two countries. For personal income inequalities in a China-India universe, the forces assuming first-order importance are macroeconomic: Growing average incomes dominate all else. The relation between aggregate economic growth and within-country in- equality is insignificant for inequality dynamics.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, South Asia, India, Asia
  • Author: Jiahua Che
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: I present a study of ownership of firms under government rent seeking. Using its control of regulated inputs, a government agency extracts rents from a manager who undertakes an investment. Such a government rent seeking activity leads to a typical hold-up problem. Government ownership is shown to serve as a second best commitment mechanism through which the government agency will restrain itself from the rent seeking activity and even offer the manager support and favor such as tax breaks and subsidies. This mechanism works at a cost as government ownership compromises ex post managerial incentives and creates distortion in resource allocation. Nevertheless, government ownership may Pareto dominate private ownership under certain conditions. These conditions correspond to a host of stylized empirical observations concerning local government-owned firms (township-village enterprises) during China's transition to a market economy.
  • Topic: Development, Emerging Markets, Government
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Martin Ravallion, Jyotsna Jalan
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: It is well known in theory that certain forms of non-linear dynamics in household incomes can yield poverty traps and distribution-dependent growth. The potential implications for policy are dramatic: effective social protection from transient poverty will be an investment with lasting benefits, and pro-poor redistribution will promote aggregate economic growth. We test for non-linearity in the dynamics of household expenditures and incomes using panel data for rural south-west China. While we find evidence of non-linearity, there is no sign of a dynamic poverty trap. Existing private and social arrangements in this setting appear to protect vulnerable households from the risk of destitution. However, the concavity we find in the recursion diagram does imply that the speed of recovery from an income shock is lower for the poor, and that current inequality reduces growth in mean incomes.
  • Topic: Development, Economics
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jian Sun
  • Publication Date: 02-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Since the beginning of the Chinese economic reforms in 1978, there has been a series of effort to reform the labour compensation practice in state-owned enterprises to strengthen the link between pay and productivity. Despite the reforms, however, rapid increases in wage rates occurred in state-owned enterprises. Moreover, although state-owned enterprises have much lower productivity gains than non-state enterprises, they pay substantially higher wages and have faster wage growth.
  • Topic: Economics, Globalization, Industrial Policy, International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Danny Quah
  • Publication Date: 01-1999
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Can the increasing significance of knowledge-products in national income—the growing weightless economy—influence economic development? Those technologies reduce "distance" between consumers and knowledge production. This paper analyzes a model embodying such a reduction. The model shows how demand-side attributes—consumer attitudes on complex goods; training, education, and skills for consumption (rather than production)—can importantly affect patterns of economic growth and development. Evidence from the failed Industrial Revolution in 14th-century China illustrates the empirical relevance of the analysis.
  • Topic: Development, Economics, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China