Ongoing Research Projects: Creative Destruction with Chinese Characteristics: Becoming Global Billionaires in a Communist State (two papers) An Empirical Assessment of Chinese Global Billionaire Entrepreneurs: Social Origins, Foreign Exposures, and Financing Decisions Abstract: How do foreign exposures and social origins affect the financing choices of global billionaire entrepreneurs from mainland China? Building a unique database, I find that (i) the politically unconnected billionaire entrepreneurs financed by foreign venture capitalists outside mainland China are more likely to float their companies outside mainland China (mainly in Hong Kong and the U.S), use offshore financing vehicles, and make entries into the 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) Latest draft: Here or SSRN Page. Becoming Global Billionaires from Mainland China: A Theoretical Investigation (with Ji Shen, PKU) Abstract: The increase in the number of global billionaire entrepreneurs from mainland China is documented and empirically assessed by Xiao(2018). To rationalize the empirical findings, we propose a political economy theory of finance, relating billionaire entrepreneurs' choices over the capital structure to their social and political origins in a financially under-developed context. We show, under conditions of an open economy, politically unconnected billionaire entrepreneurs (e.g., Jack Ma) could attenuate, to some degree, both the political economy and financial frictions by soliciting capital injections from foreign venture capitalists. Using this framework as a microfoundation, we analyze the allocation of mixed entrepreneurship, hacking back to Baumol (1990). (JEL: G10, L26, O31, P26, O53, F63)
The Missing Leadership Element: the Impact of Authoritarian Turnover without Democratization Abstract: Empirical study using democratization as natural experiments (Papaioanou and Siourounis, 2008) misses a potential leadership element among authoritarian turnovers (e.g. Iran in 1979, Cuba in 1959) prevalent in the developing world. Using a newly constructed dataset, I consider the growth effect of authoritarian turnover without democratization as a natural experiment. The empirical findings document a few novel results: (a) an exogenous authoritarian turnover without democratization has on average limited effects; (b) party regimes are markedly more robust than other authoritarian systems; (c) the degree of political institutionalization (e.g. state capacity) seems to account for a nontrivial proportion of the variation harking back to Hungtinton (2006). (JEL: P16, O5, O11). Last draft: Here or SSRN Page
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.