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Essays on financial frictions: China and rest of the world

Chen, Jiaqian (2012) Essays on financial frictions: China and rest of the world. PhD thesis, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

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Abstract

This thesis studies the role of financial frictions in shaping the consumption and investment behavior in China and its implications on rest of the world. The first chapter uses a panel of Chinese individual level data to show that the inability to borrow against future labour income forces a significant portion of individuals to deviate from a smooth consumption path over the life cycle, which they would otherwise follow. Financial frictions also affect the Chinese corporate sector. The second chapter relates China's current account surplus, as well as productivity differential between state-owned (SOEs) and privately-owned enterprises (POEs), to differences in access to finance. I consider an open- economy DSGE model of the Chinese economy with two productive sectors. I model SOEs and POEs as start-ups which need to borrow in order to begin production. Following a policy-induced asymmetric shock to the borrowing constraints, SOEs are on average less productive than POEs. Because of the lower hurdle rate for investment they face, SOEs end up creating more investable assets than POEs, while, due to more constrained credit availability, POEs save more and invest less than SOEs. In aggregate, this simple mechanism implies investment (driven by less productive SOEs) does not keep up with savings (driven by more productive POEs), resulting in a current ac- count surplus. Furthermore, the savings of Chinese POEs owners in search of investable foreign assets put downward pressure on the world long run real interest rate. In the third chapter, I move from China to an international perspective. This chapter constructed a measure of financial frictions for 41 emerging economies (EMs) between 1995 and 2008 in order to shed light on common factors across countries. Finally, Chapter four shows econometrically that financial frictions pose a serious danger to EMs, by reducing long run economic growth, raising the probability of a crisis, and leading to asset bubbles. Consistent with Chapter 2, I confirm that financial fractions can also help explain the current account position of EMs.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Jiaqian Chen
Library of Congress subject classification: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
Sets: Departments > Economics
Supervisor: Quah, Danny and Linton, Oliver
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/444

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