Community Networks and the Growth of Private Enterprise in China


讲座时间:2018年1213日 上午10:30 - 12:00





This paper identifies and quantifies the role played by community networks organized around the birth county in the growth of private enterprise in China. The model that we develop generates predictions for the dynamics of firm entry, sectoral and spatial concentration, and firm size, across birth counties with different levels of social connectedness (measured by population density) when networks are active. We validate each of these predictions over a twenty-year period (1990-2009) with unique administrative data that covers the universe of registered firms and provides information on entrepreneurs' birth counties.

The rich set of results that we obtain, taken together, allow us to rule out alternative non-network-based explanations. Additional results provide direct support for the network channel, indicating that spillovers occur within the birth county (and, going down even further, within clans within the county). Having validated the model, we estimate its structural parameters and conduct counter-factual simulations, which indicate that entry over the 1995-2004 period would have been 64% lower in the absence of community networks. Additional counter-factual simulations shed light on the design of optimal industrial policy in economies where networks are active or have the potential to be activated


Dr. Zhang Xiaobo, Chair Professor of National School of Development, Peking University and Director of Enterprise Big Data Research Center of Peking University. He obtained his Ph.D. degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University. He is an editor in chief of the international SSCI journal China Economic Review. His main research areas are development economics and China's economy. His work has been published in Journal of Political Economy, Proceedings of National Academy of Science, Journal of Development Economics, Journal of International Economics, Journal of Public Economics, Economic Research, Management World, Quarterly Journal of Economics, etc. He has published the academic monographs Evolution and Development of China's Industrial Clusters, China's Regional Innovation and Entrepreneurship Report, Oxford Companion to the Economics of China, Narratives of China Economic Reforms: How Does China Cross the River?, Regional Inequality in China: Trends, Explanations and Policy Responses, Governing Rapid Growth in China: Equity and Institutions, etc. (including co-authors). He ranks among the top 5% of all economists in the world on the famous economist website (IDEAS). He won the economics prize of Sun Yefang and Zhang Peigang Prize for Development Economics.