Chen, M.T., & Zhang, J.* (2023). Political hierarchy spillovers: Evidence from China. Economic Inquiry. Presentation: 96th WEAI Virtual International Conference 2021, 85th MEA Annual Conference 2021, the 100 Years of Economic Development Conference 2022, WRSA’s 62nd Annual Meeting 2022, and AAG 2023 Annual Meeting. Preprint
Zhang, J., & Zhao, R. (2022). The effect of population aging on pension enforcement: Do firms bear the burden? Economic Inquiry, 60(4), 1644-1662. Preprint
Zhang, J., Li, X., & Tang, J. (2022). Effect of public expenditure on fertility intention to have a second child or more: Evidence from China's CGSS survey data. Cities, 128, 103812. Preprint
Zhao, R., & Zhang, J.* (2022). Rent-tax substitution and its impact on firms: Evidence from housing purchase limits policy in China. Regional Science and Urban Economics, 96, 103804. Presentations: 15th Economics Graduate Student Conference (EGSC) 2020 and 90th SEA Annual Conference 2020. Preprint
Zhao, R. and Zhang, J. (2022). Local judicial system reform and corporate investment: Evidence from unified management of local courts below the province. China Economic Quarterly International, 2(4), 290-303.
Global warming poses a prominent challenge to every country. China, being one of the largest developing countries, has undergone a rapid economic transformation in its endeavor to achieve sustainable development. This paper delves into a quasi-natural environmental experiment conducted in China, specifically focusing on the low-carbon city program initiated between 2010 and 2011. Our study uncovers the phenomenon of regional competition among Chinese local governments concerning carbon emissions, which in turn generates spillover effects stemming from the policy. To identify the effects of the low-carbon city policy on both economic and environmental development, we employ the spatial difference-in-differences (SDID) approach. Our analysis suggests that reductions in carbon emissions in the pilot cities will decrease carbon emissions and economic performance in the surrounding areas. Finally, by exploring firm-level data, we find that the policy significantly impacts large private firms operating in non-secondary industries.
Does Elite Capture Matter? Local Political Elites and the Targeted Poverty Alleviation Strategy in China with Jie Tang and Xia Li (Under Review, PDF) Presentations (including scheduled): 98th WEAI Annual Conference 2023.
China has implemented a nationwide poverty alleviation campaign, called the targeted poverty alleviation (TPA) strategy, to achieve the national goal of completely eradicating poverty by the end of 2020. However, the capture of political elites is considered an obstacle to achieving this goal. This paper investigates whether political elite capture exists in TPA based on the specific targeting strategy using the “Thousand-Person Hundred-Village” survey dataset in 2017. Overall, TPA is not subject to political elite capture in practice and deliberately excludes political elite households from the strategy. Here, we present three main findings. First, the probability of political elite households registering in the national poverty database (jiandanglika) under TPA is approximately 12.5% lower than that of non-elite households. Second, we found that the lower registration probability of political elite households was mainly reflected in households with committee members in the village. Third, political elite connections increase the likelihood of political elite households receiving general government transfers, suggesting that political elite capture still exists in other public welfare programs.
Economic Growth, Fiscal Inequality and Fiscal Decentralization (under review, PDF)
This paper investigates the impact of fiscal inequality on regional economic growth under two different fiscal systems in China by adopting the event-study method. The "event" is the tax-sharing reform, switching from the "Fiscal Responsibility System" (FRS, 1987-1993), to the "Tax Sharing System" (TSS, 1994-present). I present three primary findings: First, there are different impacts of overall fiscal inequality on economic growth pre- and post-1994. Second, fiscal decentralization in the expenditure side could improve regional growth in China. Finally, the use of extra-budgetary funds could reduce the economic growth gap between rich and poor provinces.
This paper adds to the literature by examining fiscal competition and deficit financing by local governments in a developing country, China. We examine a unique revenue source in China, land-use premiums (a type of property tax), in a panel dataset consolidated at the prefectural level from 2006 to 2016. Our results indicate that fiscal competition in land-use premiums exists and is stronger among wealthier than poorer local governments, a result that supports the view of Cai and Treisman (2005) that competition among asymmetrically endowed regions can lead to less discipline. Moreover, we find higher local deficits are associated with lower land-use premiums, a result that suggests that the local government does not fill any fiscal gap with own revenues.