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Hsieh, Chang-Tai

Works: 36 works in 141 publications in 1 language and 798 library holdings
Genres: History  Dissertations, Academic 
Roles: Author
Classifications: HB1, 330.072
Publication Timeline
Publications about Chang-Tai Hsieh
Publications by Chang-Tai Hsieh
Most widely held works about Chang-Tai Hsieh
Most widely held works by Chang-Tai Hsieh
Relative prices and relative prosperity by Chang-Tai Hsieh( Book )
10 editions published between 2001 and 2003 in English and held by 69 libraries worldwide
Abstract: The positive correlation between PPP investment rates and PPP income levels across countries is one of the most robust findings of the empirical growth literature. We show that this relationship is almost entirely driven by differences in the price of investment relative to output across countries. When measured at domestic prices rather than at international prices, investment rates are little correlated with PPP incomes. We find that the high relative price of investment in poor countries is solely due to the low price of consumption goods in poor countries. Investment prices are no higher in poor countries than in rich countries. These facts suggest that the low PPP investment rates in poor countries are not due to low savings rates or to high tax or tariff rates on investment. Poor countries instead appear to be plagued by low efficiency in producing investment goods and in producing exportables to trade for machinery and equipment
Can free entry be inefficient? : fixed commissions and social waste in the real estate industry by Chang-Tai Hsieh( Book )
10 editions published in 2002 in English and held by 68 libraries worldwide
Real estate agents in the US typically charge a 6 percent commission, regardless of the price of the house sold. As a consequence, the commission fee from selling a house will differ dramatically across cities depending on the average price of housing, although the effort necessary to match buyers and sellers may not be that different. We use a simple economic model and cross-city data to measure the effect of the fixed commission rate on market entry by real-estate agents. We show that if the commission rate does not vary and if there are low barriers to entry to the real-estate brokerage business, the entry of real-estate agents into cities with high housing prices is socially inefficient. Consistent with our model, we find that when the average price of land in a city increases, (1) the fraction of real-estate brokers in a city increases; (2) the productivity of an average real-estate agent (houses sold per hour worked) falls; and (3) the real wage of a typical real-estate agent remains unchanged. We can not completely rule out the alternative explanation that these results reflect unmeasured differences in the quality of broker services. However, we present evidence that as the average price of housing in a city increases, there is only a small increase in the amount of time a buyer spends searching for a house, and the average time a house for sale stays on the market falls
Was the Federal Reserve fettered? : devaluation expectations in the 1932 monetary expansion by Chang-Tai Hsieh( Book )
11 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 68 libraries worldwide
Abstract: A key question about the Great Depression is whether expansionary monetary policy in the United States would have led to a loss of confidence in the U. S. commitment to the gold standard. This paper uses the $1 billion expansionary open market operation undertaken in the spring of 1932 as a crucial case study of the link between monetary expansion and expectations of devaluation. Data on forward exchange rates are used to measure expectations of devaluation during this episode. We find little evidence that the large monetary expansion led investors to believe that the United States would devalue. The financial press and the records of the Federal Reserve also show little evidence of expectations of devaluation or fear of a speculative attack. We find that a flawed model of the effects of monetary policy and conflict among the twelve Federal Reserve banks, rather than concern about the gold standard, led the Federal Reserve to suspend the expansionary policy in the summer of 1932
When schools compete, how do they compete? an assessment of Chile's nationwide school voucher program by Chang-Tai Hsieh( Book )
10 editions published between 2002 and 2003 in English and held by 67 libraries worldwide
"In 1981, Chile introduced nationwide school choice by providing vouchers to any student wishing to attend private school. As a result, more than 1,000 private schools entered the market, and the private enrollment rate increased by 20 percentage points, with greater impacts in larger, more urban, and wealthier communities. We use this differential impact to measure the effects of unrestricted choice on educational outcomes. Using panel data for about 150 municipalities, we find no evidence that choice improved average educational outcomes as measured by test scores, repetition rates, and years of schooling. However, we find evidence that the voucher program led to increased sorting, as the best' public school students left for the private sector"--NBER website
Did Iraq cheat the United Nations? : underpricing, bribes, and the oil for food program by Chang-Tai Hsieh( Book )
8 editions published in 2005 in English and held by 67 libraries worldwide
"From 1997 through early 2003, the United Nations Oil for Food Program allowed Iraq to export oil in exchange for humanitarian supplies. We measure the extent to which this program was corrupted by Iraq's attempts to deliberately set the price of its oil below market prices in an effort to solicit bribes, both in the form of direct cash bribes and in the form of political favors, from the buyers of the underpriced oil. We infer the magnitude of the potential bribe by comparing the gap between the official selling price of Iraq's two crude oils (Basrah Light and Kirkuk) and the market price of several comparison crude oils during the Program to the gap observed prior to the Program. We find consistent evidence that underpricing of Basrah Light averaged $1 per barrel from 1997 through 1999 and reaches a peak (almost $3 per barrel) from May 2000 through September 2001. The estimated underpricing quickly declines after the UN introduced a retroactive pricing scheme that reduced Iraq's ability to set the price of its oil. The evidence on whether Kirkuk was underpriced is less clear. Notably, we find that episodes of underpricing of Basrah Light are associated with a decline in the share of major oil multinationals among the oil buyers, and an increase in the share of obscure individual traders. The observed underpricing of Iraqi oil suggests that Iraq generated $5 billion in rents through its strategic underpricing. Of this amount, we estimate that Iraq collected $0.7 to $2 billion in bribes (depending on Iraq's share of the rents implied by the price gap), which is roughly 1 to 3 percent of the total value of oil sales under the Program. Finally, we find little evidence that underpricing was associated with increases in the relative supply or declines in the relative demand of Iraqi oil"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
Taxes and growth in a financially underdeveloped country evidence from the Chilean investment boom by Chang-Tai Hsieh( file )
8 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 56 libraries worldwide
Abstract: This paper argues that taxation of retained profits is particularly distortionary in an economy with good growth prospects and poorly developed financial markets because it primarily reduces the investment of financially constrained firms, investment that has marginal product greater than the after-tax market real interest rate. Contrarily, taxes on distributed profits or capital gains primarily reduce the investment of financially unconstrained firms. Chile experienced a banking crisis over the period from 1982 to 1986 and in 1984 reduced its tax rate on retained profits from 50 percent to 10 percent. We show that, consistent with our theory, there was a large increase in aggregate investment after the reform which was entirely funded by an increase in retained profits. Further, we show that investment grew by more in industries that depend more on external financing, according to the Rajan and Zingales (1998) measure. Finally, we present some weak evidence from comparisons of investment rates across firms for several different measures of their likelihood of being financially constrained
The return to capital in China by Chong-En Bai( file )
7 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 48 libraries worldwide
"China's investment rate is one of the highest in the world, which naturally leads one to suspect that the return to capital in China must be quite low. Using the data from China's national accounts, we estimate the rate of return to capital in China. We find that the aggregate rate of return to capital averaged 25% during 1978-1993, fell during 1993-1998, and has become flat at roughly 20% since 1998. This evidence suggests that the aggregate return to capital in China does not appear to be significantly lower than the return to capital in the rest of the world. We also find that the standard deviation of the rate of return to capital across Chinese provinces has fallen since 1978"--National Bureau of Economic Research web site
The price of political opposition evidence from Venezuela's Maisanta by Chang-Tai Hsieh( file )
9 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 47 libraries worldwide
In 2004, the Chávez regime in Venezuela distributed the list of several million voters whom had attempted to remove him from office throughout the government bureaucracy, allegedly to identify and punish these voters. We match the list of petition signers distributed by the government to household survey respondents to measure the economic effects of being identified as a Chavez political opponent. We find that voters who were identified as Chavez opponents experienced a 5 percent drop in earnings and a 1.5 percentage point drop in employment rates after the voter list was released. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that the loss aggregate TFP from the misallocation of workers across jobs was substantial, on the order of 3 percent of GDP
Misallocation and manufacturing TFP in China and India by Chang-Tai Hsieh( file )
8 editions published between 2007 and 2009 in English and held by 46 libraries worldwide
Resource misallocation can lower aggregate total factor productivity (TFP). We use micro data on manufacturing establishments to quantify the extent of this misallocation in China and India compared to the U.S. in recent years. Compared to the U.S., we measure sizable gaps in marginal products of labor and capital across plants within narrowly-defined industries in China and India. When capital and labor are hypothetically reallocated to equalize marginal products to the extent observed in the U.S., we calculate manufacturing TFP gains of 25-40% in China and 50-60% in India
A global view of productivity growth in China by Chang-Tai Hsieh( file )
7 editions published in 2011 in English and held by 40 libraries worldwide
We revisit a classic question in international economics: how does a country's productivity growth affect worldwide real incomes through international trade? We first identify the channels through which productivity shocks transmit in a model featuring inter-industry trade as in Ricardo (1817), intra-industry trade as in Krugman (1980), and firm heterogeneity as in Melitz (2003). We then estimate China's productivity growth at the industry level and use our model to quantify what would have happened to real incomes throughout the world if nothing but China's productivity had changed. We find that average real income in the rest of the world increased by a cumulative 0.48% from 1992-2007 due to China's productivity growth. This represents 2.2% of the total income gains to the world
The allocation of talent and U.S. economic growth by Chang-Tai Hsieh( file )
4 editions published in 2013 in English and held by 33 libraries worldwide
Over the last 50 years, there has been a remarkable convergence in the occupational distribution between white men, women, and blacks. We measure the macroeconomic consequences of this convergence through the prism of a Roy model of occupational choice in which women and blacks face frictions in the labor market and in the accumulation of human capital. The changing frictions implied by the observed occupational convergence account for 15 to 20 percent of growth in aggregate output per worker since 1960
The life cycle of plants in India and Mexico by Chang-Tai Hsieh( file )
5 editions published in 2012 in English and held by 24 libraries worldwide
In the U.S., the average 40 year old plant employs almost eight times as many workers as the typical plant five years or younger. In contrast, surviving Indian plants exhibit little growth in terms of either employment or output. Mexico is intermediate to India and the U.S. in these respects: the average 40 year old Mexican plant employs twice as many workers as an average new plant. This pattern holds across many industries and for formal and informal establishments alike. The divergence in plant dynamics suggests lower investments by Indian and Mexican plants in process efficiency, quality, and in accessing markets at home and abroad. In simple GE models, we find that the difference in life cycle dynamics could lower aggregate manufacturing productivity on the order of 25% in India and Mexico relative to the U.S
The missing "missing middle" by Chang-Tai Hsieh( file )
3 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 23 libraries worldwide
Although a large literature seeks to explain the "missing middle" of mid-sized firms in developing countries, there is surprisingly little empirical backing for existence of the missing middle. Using microdata on the full distribution of both formal and informal sector manufacturing firms in India, Indonesia, and Mexico, we document three facts. First, while there are a very large number of small firms, there is no "missing middle" in the sense of a bimodal distribution: mid-sized firms are missing, but large firms are missing too, and the fraction of firms of a given size is smoothly declining in firm size. Second, we show that the distribution of average products of capital and labor is unimodal, and that large firms, not small firms, have higher average products. This is inconsistent with many models in which small firms with high returns are constrained from expanding. Third, we examine regulatory and tax notches in India, Indonesia, and Mexico of the sort often thought to discourage firm growth, and find no economically meaningful bunching of firms near the notch points. We show that existing beliefs about the missing middle are largely due to arbitrary transformations that were made to the data in previous studies
Sterling in decline again : the 1931 and 1992 crises compared by Barry J Eichengreen( Book )
3 editions published in 1995 in English and held by 11 libraries worldwide
What explains the industrial revolution in East Asia? : evidence from factor markets by Chang-Tai Hsieh( Book )
4 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 9 libraries worldwide
Bargaining over reform by Chang-Tai Hsieh( Book )
3 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 9 libraries worldwide
Measuring biased technological change by Chang-Tai Hsieh( Book )
4 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 9 libraries worldwide
Essays in the measurement and explanation of economic growth by Chang-Tai Hsieh( file )
3 editions published in 1998 in English and held by 6 libraries worldwide
The first essay shows that when technological change is biased, a standard growth accounting exercise does not isolate the contribution of factor accumulation to output growth from that of technological change. This difficulty of identifying the independent contribution of technological progress is related to the path-dependence properties of the total factor productivity (TFP) index as a line integral. I apply the fundamental theorem of calculus for line integrals to prove that the TFP index is not path-dependent if and only technological change is Hicks-neutral. The intuition is that when technological change is biased, the output shares of payments to each factor will depend on the rate and bias of technological change. Since standard growth accounting exercises use the factor shares as estimates of factor elasticities, the residual measures of TFPG conflate the contribution of technological change with that of factor accumulation
Estimating the border effect some new evidence by Gita Gopinath( Book )
4 editions published in 2009 in English and held by 5 libraries worldwide
To what extent do national borders and national currencies impose costs that segment markets across countries? To answer this question we use a dataset with product level retail prices and wholesale costs for a large grocery chain with stores in the U.S. and Canada. We develop a model of pricing by location and employ a regression discontinuity approach to estimate and interpret the border effect. We report three main facts: 1) The median absolute retail price and whole-sale cost discontinuity between adjacent stores on either side of the U.S.-Canada border is as high as 21%. In contrast, within-country border discontinuity is close to 0%; 2) The variation in the retail price gap at the border is almost entirely driven by variation in wholesale costs, not by variation in markups; 3) The border gap in prices and costs co-move almost one to one with changes in the U.S.-Canada nominal exchange rate. We show these facts suggest that the price gaps we estimate provide only a lower bound on border costs
The response of household expenditure to anticipated income changes by Masahiro Hori( Book )
1 edition published in 2009 in English and held by 3 libraries worldwide
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Hsieh, Chang-Tai
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