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Economic Development

Chang-tai Hsieh, Chicago Booth
Thursday, April 6, 2017
4:00-5:30 PM
3240 Weill Hall (Ford School) Map

In 2009 and 2010, China undertook a fiscal stimulus program worth 4 trillion yuan, roughly equivalent to 11 percent of its annual GDP. This program was largely financed by off-balance-sheet companies—known as local financing vehicles—that both borrowed and spent on behalf of local governments. These companies have continued to grow since the stimulus program concluded at the end of 2010; their spending has accounted for roughly 10 percent of GDP each year, with an increasing share used for what are essentially commercial projects. And their spending has likely been responsible for an increase of 5 percentage points in the aggregate investment rate and for part of the decline of 7 to 8 percentage points in the current account surplus since 2008. We argue that local governments have used their new access to financial resources to facilitate favored businesses’ access to capital, which potentially worsens the overall efficiency of capital allocation. The long-run effect of offbalance-sheet spending by local governments may be a permanent decline in the growth rate of aggregate productivity and GDP.
Building: Weill Hall (Ford School)
Event Type: Workshop / Seminar
Tags: AEM Featured, Economics, seminar
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Economic Development Seminar, Department of Economics, Michigan Institute for Teaching and Research in Economics (MITRE), Department of Economics Seminars