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Exporting out of Agriculture: The Impact of WTO Accession on Structural Transformation in China

  • Date 2017-10-13 (Fri)
  • Time 12:15 PM
  • Venue Conference Room B110
  • Presider Professor Kamhon Kan
  • Speaker Professor Jessica Leight
  • Background Professor Leight received her Ph.D. in Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2013. She is currently an Assistant Professor at American University. Her research fields are Development economics and Political economy.

    * Lunch boxes will be provided for attendees.
    Please reply to Assistant Hanpei Tseng via phone call (27822791 ext 626) or e-mail (hptseng@econ.sinica.edu.tw): □ No restriction □ Vegetarian

    * Please confirm your preference by 16:00 pm, October 11 (Wednesday).
  • Abstract This paper analyzes the effect of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001 on structural transformation at the local level, exploiting cross-sectional variation in tariff uncertainty faced by local economies pre-2001. Using a new panel of approximately 2,000 Chinese counties observed from 1996 to 2013, we find that counties more exposed to the reduction in tariff uncertainty post-accession are characterized by increased exports and foreign direct investment, shrinking agricultural sectors, expanding secondary sectors, and higher total and per capita GDP. These findings are robust to a range of alternate specifications, and to controlling for other contemporaneous reforms.