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Strategic Reassurance in Institutional Contests: Explaining China's Creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(Taylor and Francis, 2018-07-05) Chen, Zheng ; Liu, YanchuanThe Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has been widely conceived as a Chinese effort to promote reforms of global financial governance. While the existing literature of contested multilateralism tends to focus on the problem of threat credibility, this article highlights the necessity of strategic reassurance in institutional contests. To facilitate incremental reforms of the existing order, rising powers like China need not only to pose credible challenge towards established institutions, but also to demonstrate their benign intentions and commitment to future cooperation. Besides revealing strength and resolve, the creation of a new multilateral regime helps rising powers to signal their self-restraints and reassure other powers. Consequently, the institutional configuration of new multilateral organizations involves a trade-off between the dual needs for threats and reassurance. Chinese behaviors in creating the AIIB can be explained through this framework.
Publication(Elsevier, 2017-02) Cull, Robert ; Xu, Lixin Colin ; Yang, Xi ; Zhou, Li-An ; Zhu, TianWe use data from a large survey of Chinese firms to investigate whether local government efforts to facilitate market development improve firm efficiency. Both government provision of information about products, markets, and innovation and government assistance in arranging loans are positively associated with firm efficiency, and those private firms with weak access to and knowledge of financial, input, and product markets benefit most from such assistance. These patterns are robust across multiple estimation approaches. Our examination of the determinants of local government facilitation also suggests that it gravitates toward promoting efficiency, though there are also indications that rent-seeking may play a role. Our evidence is consistent with the notion that government facilitation can help some firms overcome market failures in the early stages of a country's private sector development. Though causality is difficult to establish, we argue that changing fiscal dynamics that forced local governments to become increasingly self-reliant in generating revenue, and a government promotion system based on local economic performance, were key motivating factors for market facilitation by local government officials.