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  • Author: Jie Bai, Jiahua Liu
  • Publication Date: 12-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: It is well known that various forms of non-tariff trade barriers exist within a country. Empirically, it is difficult to measure these barriers as they can take many forms. We take advantage of a nationwide VAT rebate policy reform in China as a natural experiment to identify the existence of these intranational barriers due to local protectionism and study the impact on exports and exporting firms. As a result of shifting tax rebate burden, the reform leads to a greater incentive of the provincial governments to block the domestic flow of non-local goods to local export intermediaries. We develop an open-economy heterogenous firm model that incorporates multiple domestic regions and multiple exporting technologies, including the intermediary sector. Consistent with the model’s predictions, we find that rising local protectionism leads to a reduction in interprovincial trade, more “inward-looking” sourcing behavior of local intermediaries, and a reduction in manufacturing exports. Analysis using micro firm-level data further shows that private companies with greater baseline reliance on export intermediaries are more adversely affected.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Political Economy, Reform, Tariffs
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jie Bai, Panle Barwick, Shengmao Cao, Shanjun Li
  • Publication Date: 11-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Are quid pro quo (technology for market access) policies effective in facilitating knowledge spillover to developing countries? We study this question in the context of the Chinese automobile industry where foreign firms are required to set up joint ventures with domestic firms in return for market access. Using a unique dataset of detailed quality measures along multiple dimensions of vehicle performance, we document empirical patterns consistent with knowledge spillovers through both ownership affiliation and geographical proximity: joint ventures and Chinese domestic firms with ownership or location linkage tend to specialize in similar quality dimensions. The identification primarily relies on within-product variation across quality dimensions and the results are robust to a variety of specifications. The pattern is not driven by endogenous joint-venture network formation, overlapping customer base, or learning by doing considerations. Leveraging additional micro datasets on part suppliers and worker flow, we document that supplier network and labor mobility are important channels in mediating knowledge spillovers. However, these channels are not tied to ownership affiliations. Finally, we calibrate a simple learning model and conduct policy counterfactuals to examine the role of quid pro quo. Our findings show that ownership affiliation facilitates learning but quality improvement is primarily driven by the other mechanisms.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Science and Technology, Developing World
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Author: Jie Bai, Ludovica Gazze, Yukun Wang
  • Publication Date: 10-2019
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: The John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
  • Abstract: Collective reputation implies an important externality. Among firms trading internationally, quality shocks about one firm’s products could affect the demand of other firms from the same origin country. We study this issue in the context of a large-scale scandal that affected the Chinese dairy industry in 2008. Leveraging rich firm-product level administrative data and official quality inspection reports, we find that the export revenue of contaminated firms dropped by 84% after the scandal, relative to the national industrial trend, and the spillover effect on non-contaminated firms is measured at 64% of the direct effect. Notably, firms deemed innocent by government inspections did not fare any better than noninspected firms. These findings highlight the importance of collective reputation in international trade and the challenges governments might face in signaling quality and restoring trust. Finally, we investigate potential mechanisms that could mediate the strength of the reputation spillover. We find that the spillover effects are smaller in destinations where people have better information about parties involved in the scandal. New firms are more vulnerable to the collective reputation damage than established firms. Supply chain structure matters especially in settings where firms are less vertically integrated and exhibit fragmented upstream-downstream relationships.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance, Markets, Business , Global Political Economy, Accountability
  • Political Geography: China, Asia
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: LSE IDEAS
  • Abstract: This LSE IDEAS Special Report - with senior contributors from politics, journalism, and academia - looks at the internal causes and consequences of the return of the 'Middle Kingdom'. It explores the extent to which Deng's momentous economic reforms in 1978 have shaped modern China, what the country's expanded international role under Xi means, and who really makes Chinese foreign policy.
  • Topic: International Affairs, Global Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Qiyuan Xu
  • Publication Date: 01-2018
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: In 2017, the Chinese economy rebounded more significantly than expected. There is now general anticipation that growth in 2018 will fall slightly compared with that of 2017, but that it will remain stable at 6.5 percent or above. However, there are some factors that could lead to downward pressure on investment and consumption in 2018
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Marcin Kaczmarski
  • Publication Date: 03-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Transatlantic Relations
  • Abstract: This paper is part of CTR's Working Paper Series: "Russia and the West: Reality Check." U.S. domination in global politics provided a powerful incentive for the post-Cold War rapprochement between Russia and China. The worsening of Russia’s relations with the West since 2014 made Moscow even more willing to offer significant concessions to Beijing. However, closer Russian-Chinese cooperation predates the Russian-Western crisis over Ukraine and reaches back to the 2008-2009 global economic crisis. Even the growing power asymmetry has not dissuaded Moscow from deepening its cooperation with China. This challenged widespread Western expectations that Russia would be eager to cooperate with the West in order to compensate for China’s increasing advantage. Hence, a potential improvement of Russian-Western relations is highly unlikely to result in the weakening of Russian-Chinese ties
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Energy Policy, International Cooperation, Bilateral Relations, Trump, Alliance
  • Political Geography: Russia, China, Europe, United States of America
  • Author: Panpan Yang, Bing Han
  • Publication Date: 12-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: Responsible research and innovation (RRI) represents a new evolving approach to governing research and innovation that takes into account potential impacts on the environment and society. Most published studies on RRI focus on the social benefits of research and innovation through examining RRI’s definitions and approaches for its implementation. In contrast, the present study addresses the influence of RRI on economic growth, and discusses the situations in which RRI will benefit economies. Our study finds that for its implementation to be successful, RRI needs to meet certain conditions, and that its implementation is not always beneficial to economic growth. To achieve a better result from RRI as part of an innovation policy, each country should balance the push and pull power of RRI to make sure that it becomes a building block rather than a stumbling block for innovation, economic growth and social welfare. To assure that RRI can be successfully implemented, China needs to strengthen and improve the participation mechanisms for stakeholders in major scientific and technological innovative activities.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Liu Dongmin
  • Publication Date: 01-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: The Chinese government seeks a more prominent role for China’s currency, the renminbi, in the international financial system. Its efforts to establish the renminbi as an international currency – like the US dollar – have hitherto emphasized relatively limited applications such as trade settlement and exchange rate arbitrage. However, recent market and policy developments point to the internationalization process henceforth being driven more by the renminbi’s status as a reserve currency
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China
  • Author: Mohsen Shariatinia, Hamidreza Azizi
  • Publication Date: 11-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: Iran served as a bridge in the ancient Silk Road, connecting the East and the West. It also has great potential to play an important role in the new Silk Road. The present study analyzes the factors affecting Iran–China cooperation in the context of the Belt and Road Initiative at the strategic and operational levels. This article shows that, at the strategic level, Iran defines this project as an opportunity to improve its status in the world economy, expanding its room to manoeuvre in the international arena and developing its ties with China, a rising great power. At the operational level, the opportunities and challenges for Iran–China cooperation could be summarized as pertaining to five realms within the Silk Road Economic Belt Initiative: policy coordination, facilitation of connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds. The present study asserts that the main opportunity for cooperation between the two countries lies in facilitating connectivity and that the key challenge is financial integration.
  • Topic: International Political Economy, International Affairs
  • Political Geography: China, Iran
  • Author: Giovanni Andornino
  • Publication Date: 10-2017
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Institute of World Economics and Politics
  • Abstract: As Chinese leaders endeavor to maintain the international environment aligned with their strategic aim of realizing the “dream of national rejuvenation,” the remarkable increase in China’s capabilities, coupled with uncertainty in the global economy and the ambivalent attitude of the USA toward the international order, poses fresh challenges to Beijing’s foreign policy. The present paper argues that a lexicographic preference for the mitigation of the risk of pushback against China’s core interests underpins the Belt and Road Initiative. Pursuing a strategy of credible reassurance commensurate to the shift in the distribution of power in China’s neighborhood and globally, President Xi Jinping’s administration has been cultivating a form of connective leadership that commits China to the encapsulation of the Belt and Road Initiative for transregional connectivity into its own national development strategy, generating an octroyé, non-hegemonic, type of international social capital, and integrating the existing order without corroborating the position of its founder
  • Topic: International Political Economy
  • Political Geography: China