Today VW claimed sales of 2.35 million units in Jan-Sep. Meanwhile GM’s PR machine releases brand sales monthly. I track these, out of curiousity and because I teach a course on the Chinese economy (in which I use Michael Dunne’s American Wheels as one of 4 books I ask students to read). GM’s 9-month total… Continue reading China’s Hypercompetitive Car Market
How do we compare standards of living? We’ll discuss PPP measures and other formal means. We would like however to be comfortable that the results of our formal measures “make sense.” …47% pre-diabetic reflects prosperity, not poverty and not aging… As we’ll see, older Chinese remember hunger; younger Chinese may well know of aunts and… Continue reading Comparing standards of living
Martin Wolf’s April 2 column in the Financial Times addresses China’s growth prospects, timely given the topic of today’s (April 3rd) class. He argues, without full details, for parallels between Japan and China that point towards the possibility of growth below the Chinese government projections he discusses. We’ll develop the simple Solow growth model today,… Continue reading FT’s Wolf on China’s Growth Prospects
China catches flak for intervening in exchange markets. You should however think about the challenges faced by developing countries with small financial markets. A nice piece on that is on the Economist’s View blog, looking at Cyprus as the point of departure. Now that China is “large” in international markets the “hot money” argument is… Continue reading Foreign Exchange Controls
Michael Dunne has an article on electric cars in China in the Feb 21 WSJ China blog.
The most recent post on Danwei, a website with translations from the Chinese web, focuses on villages populated almost entirely by the elderly. One is Visions of Dying Village Life. Another talks of visiting where the old village men hang out to find it empty, with his father by himself now that most of his… Continue reading Danwei project on (ageing) migrant villages
Peter Hessler has a story in the latest National Geographic, revisiting a town in which he lived in 1996. He therein provides a sense of how rural areas have evolved over the past 15-odd years. For Country Driving, see here and here and herelinks for Sancha including photos of the Wei family. If you visit… Continue reading Sancha and Lishui
Foreign Affairs‘s January-February 2013 issue has an interesting piece by Huang Yasheng, “Democratize or Die: Why China’s Communists Face Reform or Revolution.” (There’s a companion piece, “The Life of the Party: The Post-Democratic Future Begins in China” by Eric X. Li.) We don’t have time to pursue questions of the interactions of economic performance and… Continue reading Reform or Revolution?
For expository purposes, let’s stick with the extreme W. Arthur Lewis assumption of MPL=w=0 in the Chinese countryside by 1990. The list of contributing factors is long: electric pumps; mechanical threshers; chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers; new cultivars; and finally (though post-dating 1990) new rice systems that did away with the need to prepare seedbeds… Continue reading Lewis, China and Slums
==> Meng, Xin (2012). “Labor Market Outcomes and Reforms in China.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 26:4, pp. 75-102. For your reference, this issue of JEP has the following additional articles on China. All are free to download via the link above. Li, Hongbin, Li, Lei and Xiong, Yanyan (2012). “The End of Cheap Chinese Labor.”… Continue reading Wed 13 Feb Reading
Demographics: the latest cohort in China is the smallest since 1960…from a rejoinder by Brad DeLong to a silly mistake by Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes, who compared China, India and Egypt without bothering to look at data… If you expand the graph [click on it!] you’ll see that the biggest cohort is in their… Continue reading Population Growth in China?
William Granruth highlighted the issue with a post on the exchange rate from the WSJ. As followup read the following substantive analysis “The appreciating renminbi” from the VoxEU blog. What is the “real” value of the RMB (= how measure)? Is it (too) weak (= [excessive] trade surplus)? Not surprisingly, the WSJ looks only at… Continue reading Appreciating RMB
Ron Fuchs of the Reeves Center hosted us in the Watson Pavilion to hear of the China export trade. He privaleged us with the opportunity to handle a piece from the dinner service of Pres George Washington and Gen Robert E Lee on Founders Day. Note the many economic themes: the Chinese government exercise… Continue reading Reeves Center lecture
Signs of growth – stronger growth – abound. Car sales are up by double-digits in 2012, and 2013 looks even better, perhaps 20 million units? (The US may hit 15 million, sales in the EU are in freefall.) China is the most important market for both GM and VW. Chinese exports are up, suggesting that… Continue reading Strong growth, but … ?