NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Hong Ma

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Working Papers

January 2012Contractual Versus Non-Contractual Trade: The Role of Institutions in China
with Robert C. Feenstra, Chang Hong, Barbara J. Spencer: w17728
Recent research has demonstrated the importance of institutional quality at the country level for both the volume of trade and the ability to trade in differentiated goods that rely on contract enforcement. This paper takes advantage of cross-provincial variation in institutional quality in China, and export data that distinguishes between foreign and domestic exporters and processing versus ordinary trade, to show that institutional quality is a significant factor in determining Chinese provincial export patterns. Institutions matter more for processing trade, and more for foreign firms, just as we would expect from a greater reliance on contracts in these cases.
Who Shrunk China? Puzzles in the Measurement of Real GDP
with Robert C. Feenstra, J. Peter Neary, D.S. Prasada Rao: w17729
The latest World Bank estimates of real GDP per capita for China are significantly lower than previous ones. We review possible sources of this puzzle and conclude that it reflects a combination of factors, including substitution bias in consumption, reliance on urban prices which we estimate are higher than rural ones, and the use of an expenditure-weighted rather than an output-weighted measure of GDP. Taking all these together, we estimate that real per-capita GDP in China was 50% higher relative to the U.S. in 2005 than the World Bank estimates.

Contact and additional information for this authorAll papers and publicationsWorking Papers onlyWorking Papers with publication info

 
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