Workshop on: Trade and Labor Relations in the East Asia Time Zone — IEFS Japan Annual Meeting 2016 —
（IEFS Japan／RIEBセミナー／六甲フォーラム／科研基盤研究（A）「タイムゾーンとサービス・タスク貿易理論の動学的展開および経済成長への含意」／科研基盤研究（B）「国際的買収による世界市場への参入とその動学的影響」共催） Workshop on: Trade and Labor Relations in the East Asia Time Zone — IEFS Japan Annual Meeting 2016 — (Jointly supported by: IEFS Japan / RIEB Seminar / Rokko Forum / Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A)・(B))
Does Health Insurance Improve Health and Save Lives? Evidence from China
Whether health insurance matters for health has been a central issue for decades. However, due to the difficulty of identification, the results remain uncertain and inconsistent. In this paper, we take advantage of the arguably exogenous expansion of China's urban health insurance program to identify the causal effect of health insurance on elderly people's health status and mortality. We find that health insurance coverage has significantly improved self-reported health, ADL disability and sickness in two weeks and reduced mortality. The impacts are mainly on the people with lower education. Further investigation reveals two potential channels through which health insurance affect health, i.e., health service utilization and nutritional intake.
Regional Variations in Productivity Premium of Exporters: Evidence from Japanese Plant-level Data
One well established fact is that exporters tend to be more productive than non-exporters with the standard explanation being selection effects linked to the fixed cost of exporting. This paper exploits a novel dataset to examine the role of fixed-cost selection effects. Japanese plant-level data show the export premium for rural plants but not for urban plants. We document that firms in the urban areas have superior access to wholesale traders who reduce fixed export costs. Thus we find the export premium where export costs are high but none where they are low. This provides support for the selection-fixed-cost nexus which is at the heart of the Melitz model.
The Impact of Retirement on Cognitive Functioning: Evidence from Urban China
As a result of declines in fertility and gains in life expectancy, population aging
is becoming a major challenge for many countries. One fundamental aspect of the ageing process is cognitive decline, which affects individual decision making ability, and is a major driver of disability in old age. The process of cognitive ageing is complex and not yet well understood. The potential risk factors include genetic factor, and life events, such as retirement. The literatures on the impact of retirement on cognitive functioning have produced mixed results.
This paper aims at examining the causal effect of retirement on cognitive functioning using a dataset from the national baseline of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) 2011-2013. There are four measures for cognitive functioning in this paper: three measures of immediate, delayed and total word recall to measure episodic memory, and one index to measure intactness or mental status of elderly individuals., We control for potentially confounding age patterns of cognitive decline and correct for endogenous bias by exploiting the official retirement ages as exogenous instruments for individual retirement status. The official retirement age in China currently is age 60 for men, age 50 for female workers, and age 55 for female civil servants. We find evidence that retirement has a positive effect on cognitive functioning for men, but a negative effect on cognitive function for women. The 2SLS results 2 show that retirement induced by official retirement age leads to a 15.7% increase in immediate word recall and an 8.9% increase in mental intactness for men, but a 13% decrease in mental intactness for women. These effects are robust with regard to the age range of the sample, the specification of the age trend, sample selection, and the definition of retirement.
We explore the underlying features of the retirement-cognition mechanism. We find that the effect of retirement on cognitive functioning is unlikely to be instantaneous. The beneficial effects of retirement on cognitive functioning are concentrated among men with a middle school education and above. We interpret this finding as evidence that the educated elderly have stronger preference for cognitive stimulating leisure activities after retirement. Moreover, we show that the impact of retirement on cognitive functioning also depends on the type of occupation while employed. The blue-collar male workers are likely to improve their cognitive functioning at retirement, while that is not the case the white-collar male worker. It indicates that relative efficiency of cognitive repair
on and off the job is an important factor behind the impact of retirement on cognitive ability. Consistent with our results of a positive effect of retirement only on males' cognitive abilities, we also provide evidence that the blue-collar male workers are more likely to have social interaction and intellectually stimulating activities at retirement. Our findings have important policy implications since cognitive impairment at old ages represent a major public health burden in the aging context of China. They suggest that reforms aimed at raising statutory retirement age for women may also
create positive health externalities. Our results also provide support for policy interventions to affect the pattern of cognitive ageing through specific health investments, and decrease the effect of increasing the retirement age for men on their cognitive functioning.
Economic Institutions and Bureaucratic Delay
While the existing literature relies on the self-discipline of bureaucrats for good governance, in this paper we explore whether economic institutions promote the efficiency of bureaucratic institutions, using Chinese export customs data. We find that property rights protection and law enforcement constrain and reduce bureaucratic delay. Our estimation results are robust with respective to different measures of economic institutions, different types of standard errors and different estimation methods.
Does Corporate Governance Matter in Competitive Industries? Evidence from China
We explore the relationship among the optimal privatization degree, private sector efficiency, and anti-corruption campaign. Our model predicts that the optimal privatization degree is negatively correlated with both the efficiency in the private sector and the intensification of the anti-corruption campaign. We then use the universe of Chinese manufacturing firms to test the theoretical finding and find supportive evidence.
Do Multinationals Transfer Culture? Evidence on Female Employment
We study the global diffusion of culture through multinationals, focusing on gender norms. Using data on manufacturing firms in China over 2004-2007, we find that foreign affiliates from countries with more gender-equal culture tend to employ proportionally more women and appoint female managers, inducing domestic firms in the same industry or city to converge to similar female labor shares. Based on a multi-sector model with firm heterogeneity in productivity, gender biases, and learning, we conduct counterfactuals. Eliminating firms' gender biases in each industry would raise China's aggregate total factor productivity by 5%, of which multinationals' cultural spillover accounted for 19%.