Research Projects: Becoming Global Billionaires from Mainland China: Theory and Evidence [Paper Status: Full draft available, please contact my supervisors for access.] [Presentation History: Among other places, this paper has been presented at LSE (London, May, 2018), Fudan University (Shanghai, Feb. 2019), Peking University (Beijing, March, 2019), AMES 2019, Xiamen University (June, 2019) , Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, July, 2019), and CUHK (Hong Kong, Oct. 2019)] Abstract: The increase in the number of global billionaires from mainland China is a puzzle viewed from the standpoint of ``extractive institutions''. Guided by a proposed conceptual framework relating socio-political backgrounds of the billionaire entrepreneurs to observable financing decisions, I show, under conditions of an open economy, politically unconnected billionaire entrepreneurs (e.g., Jack Ma) could attenuate, to some degree, political economy as well as financial frictions via capital injections from foreign venture capitalists. Building a unique database, I find, using a human equation, that (i) the politically unconnected billionaire entrepreneurs financed by foreign venture capitalists are more likely to float their companies outside mainland China (mainly in Hong Kong and the U.S), use offshore financing vehicles, and enter into innovative sectors; and (ii) the politically connected global billionaire entrepreneurs, however, are strongly associated with a record of state-owned enterprise (SOE) restructuring. (JEL: G10, L26, O31, P26, O53, F63)
Serve the People or the People's Note: Political Economy of Talent Allocation [Paper Status: Full draft available, please contact my supervisors for access.] Abstract : An efficient allocation of talents through occupational choice is central to modern economic growth. This paper proposes a political economy model of talent allocation in a context with a private sector and a public sector, where individuals have heterogeneous motivations to serve the public (i.e., serving the people) and abilities in the marketplace (i.e., serving the people's note). Removal of developmental barriers unfavorable to entrepreneurship and artificially imposed out of ideological reasons (i.e, cage theory) might be a plausible channel for China's superb economic performance. Using a newly compiled data on China's Super Rich Persons (CSRP), the regression kink (RK) design reports supportive evidence on the politically induced structural change in the social compositions of entrepreneurs using as a quasi-natural experiment from Deng Xiaoping's Southern Tour (ST): consistent with pro-market talent allocation framework (i) the share of super-rich entrepreneur having state sector experience and party membership declines; (ii) the effects on the attributes of the parental father of the entrepreneurs are rather limited.
Does Authoritarian Turnover Deliver? Another Look at Democratization and Growth [Paper Status: Full draft completed and available.] [Presentation History: this paper has been presented at Sun Yat-sen University (Guangzhou, July, 2019)]
Pre-doctoral Publication: Kezhou Xiao, and Brantly Womack. "Distortion and Credibility within China's Internal Information System." Journal of Contemporary China 23. 88 (2014): 680-697. [The published version: pdf.] Reprinted in Chinese Authoritarianism in the Information Age: Internet, Media, and Public Opinion (2018)
Chinese Authoritarianism in the Information Age: Internet, Media, and Public Opinion. [Book website: here.] Abstract: This book examines information and public opinion control by the authoritarian state in response to popular access to information and upgraded political communication channels among the citizens in contemporary China. Empowered by mass media, particularly social media and other information technology, Chinese citizen’s access to information has been expanded. Publicly focusing events and opinions have served as catalysts to shape the agenda for policy making and law making, narrow down the set of policy options, and change the pace of policy implementation. Yet, the authoritarian state remains in tight control of media, including social media, to deny the free flow of information and shape public opinion through a centralized institutional framework for propaganda and information technologies. The evolving process of media control and public opinion manipulation has constrained citizen’s political participation and strengthened Chinese authoritarianism in the information age. The chapters originally published as articles in the Journal of Contemporary China.
Policy Work: Financing the Sustainable Urban Transition in China and Mexico, LSE Enterprise. Contracting arrangements and public private partnerships for sustainable development with E. Ahamd and A. Vinella, Public Sector Economics, 42 (2), 145-169, 2018.
Fiscal Underpinnings for Sustainable Development in China: Rebalancing in Guangdong A Policy Volume (2018) on Fiscal Sustainable Issues in China, using Guangdong Province as a Case Study. Forwarded by Professor Lord. Nick Stern (LSE) (Lord. Stern's Forward). Presentation version: here. Book Format Available from Amazon and Springer.
Abstract: This book collects high-quality papers on issues related to the rebalancing strategy in China, new clean cities as “hubs’’, liability management, and involving the private sector, including through PPPs, with specific examples from Guangdong. Guangdong has been at the forefront of economic reforms in China since the advent of the Responsibility System in the late 1970s, and its successes and challenges reflect those of China as a whole. The need for rebalancing towards a more inclusive and sustainable path is also critical in Guangdong, just as it is in China. Strengthening the fiscal underpinnings and the next stages of tax reforms are critical drivers to accomplishing the requisite structural changes.