The Chinese University of Hong Kong-Tsinghua University Joint Research Center for Chinese Economy 清華大學-香港中文大學中國經濟聯合研究中心 - The Long Shadow of a Fiscal Expansion The Chinese University of Hong Kong-Tsinghua University <br/>Joint Research Center for Chinese Economy 清華大學-香港中文大學中國經濟聯合研究中心
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The Long Shadow of a Fiscal Expansion
Chong-En Bai, Chang-Tai Hsieh, Zheng (Michael) Song

In 2009 and 2010, China undertook a 4 trillion Yuan fiscal stimulus, roughly equivalent to 12 percent of annual GDP. The "fiscal" stimulus was largely financed by off-balance sheet companies (local financing vehicles) that borrowed and spent on behalf of local governments. The off-balance sheet financial institutions continued to grow after the stimulus program ended at the end of 2010. After the end of the stimulus program, spending by these off balance sheet companies accounted for roughly 5% of annual GDP. The off-balance spending by local governments is likely responsible for a 5 percentage point increase in the aggregate investment rate and part of the 7 to 8 percentage point decline in current account surplus. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that local governments used their new access to financial resources to facilitate access to capital to favored private firms, which potentially worsens the overall efficiency of capital allocation. The long run effect of off-balance sheet spending by local governments may be a permanent decline in the growth rate of aggregate productivity and GDP.

625
0020
The Long Shadow of a Fiscal Expansion
Chong-En Bai, Chang-Tai Hsieh, Zheng (Michael) Song

In 2009 and 2010, China undertook a 4 trillion Yuan fiscal stimulus, roughly equivalent to 12 percent of annual GDP. The "fiscal" stimulus was largely financed by off-balance sheet companies (local financing vehicles) that borrowed and spent on behalf of local governments. The off-balance sheet financial institutions continued to grow after the stimulus program ended at the end of 2010. After the end of the stimulus program, spending by these off balance sheet companies accounted for roughly 5% of annual GDP. The off-balance spending by local governments is likely responsible for a 5 percentage point increase in the aggregate investment rate and part of the 7 to 8 percentage point decline in current account surplus. Finally, we provide suggestive evidence that local governments used their new access to financial resources to facilitate access to capital to favored private firms, which potentially worsens the overall efficiency of capital allocation. The long run effect of off-balance sheet spending by local governments may be a permanent decline in the growth rate of aggregate productivity and GDP.

625