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postgraduate thesis: The effectiveness and legitimacy of investment incentive regime in China: dilemmas of state intervention

TitleThe effectiveness and legitimacy of investment incentive regime in China: dilemmas of state intervention
Authors
Issue Date2012
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Lin, L. [林灵]. (2012). The effectiveness and legitimacy of investment incentive regime in China : dilemmas of state intervention. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053375
AbstractWhile investment incentives are increasingly employed by the developing economies, the vast amount of literature has failed to reach a consensus on the role of incentive regimes. A fundamental problem with the previous econometric studies is that they assume a mature market condition, under which the government should remain outside FDI competition. However, in reality, most developing countries lack a mature market and market-oriented regulatory institutions. This thesis adds to the conventional wisdom by examining whether and how Chinese investment incentive regimes have been successful in harnessing FDI during the last three decades. Like many developing economies, China is still in the process of building a market economy. The striking ability of China to attract FDI with numerous incentives presents a meaningful laboratory for examining the role of investment incentives. In contrast to most previous economic studies, this thesis does not attempt to examine the economic mechanisms of investment incentives. The basic presumption of this thesis is that incentive measures are instrument of state intervention with designed policy goals. A policy-oriented approach has thus been adopted, under which the role of investment incentives is examined against precisely defined policy objectives in a particular policy context. In China’s case, the efficacy of investment incentives is shown by a strategic and dynamic correlation between the investment incentive regime and its achieved development goals. In the given policy context, their functions cannot be replaced by more desirable instruments due to the political and economic constraints. Besides the economic evaluation, the study adds the legal dimension of evaluation on investment incentives. From a legal perspective, the regulatory space for developing countries is increasingly defined by the international legal regime. Investment incentives should be framed in a way to balance national interests and the level of protection required for foreign investment. The evolution of China’s incentive regime presents a good example to integrate global consensus with domestic imperatives. By unifying its income tax system, China adopted an incentive regime generally consistent with its WTO commitments and could be utilized to its advantages. However, serious problems inherent in the incentive system have already emerged in China, which may hamper its economic development in the long run. The thesis shows that the state’s capacity to channel FDI towards development goals is declining, as its intrusiveness has given way to arbitrariness. A top-down approach deprives foreign investors of their channels to communicate their opinions to the policymakers. The local arbitrariness and corruption in incentive implementation will compound the problem and hinder the inflows of high quality foreign investment. The thesis then proposes that the investment incentive regime in China needs to be upgraded into a more legalized system with non-discrimination, transparency, coherence and an effective monitoring mechanism as its central features. The legalization process would help to alleviate the negative effects of investment incentives. In the absence of a political infrastructure compatible with a rules-based system, the Chinese government needs to start with redefining the government-business relationship with a legal framework and reinforcing an independent judicial system.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectInvestments, Foreign - Government policy - China
Investments, Foreign - Law and legislation - China.
Dept/ProgramLaw
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188256

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLin, Ling-
dc.contributor.author林灵-
dc.date.accessioned2013-08-27T08:02:50Z-
dc.date.available2013-08-27T08:02:50Z-
dc.date.issued2012-
dc.identifier.citationLin, L. [林灵]. (2012). The effectiveness and legitimacy of investment incentive regime in China : dilemmas of state intervention. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5053375-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/188256-
dc.description.abstractWhile investment incentives are increasingly employed by the developing economies, the vast amount of literature has failed to reach a consensus on the role of incentive regimes. A fundamental problem with the previous econometric studies is that they assume a mature market condition, under which the government should remain outside FDI competition. However, in reality, most developing countries lack a mature market and market-oriented regulatory institutions. This thesis adds to the conventional wisdom by examining whether and how Chinese investment incentive regimes have been successful in harnessing FDI during the last three decades. Like many developing economies, China is still in the process of building a market economy. The striking ability of China to attract FDI with numerous incentives presents a meaningful laboratory for examining the role of investment incentives. In contrast to most previous economic studies, this thesis does not attempt to examine the economic mechanisms of investment incentives. The basic presumption of this thesis is that incentive measures are instrument of state intervention with designed policy goals. A policy-oriented approach has thus been adopted, under which the role of investment incentives is examined against precisely defined policy objectives in a particular policy context. In China’s case, the efficacy of investment incentives is shown by a strategic and dynamic correlation between the investment incentive regime and its achieved development goals. In the given policy context, their functions cannot be replaced by more desirable instruments due to the political and economic constraints. Besides the economic evaluation, the study adds the legal dimension of evaluation on investment incentives. From a legal perspective, the regulatory space for developing countries is increasingly defined by the international legal regime. Investment incentives should be framed in a way to balance national interests and the level of protection required for foreign investment. The evolution of China’s incentive regime presents a good example to integrate global consensus with domestic imperatives. By unifying its income tax system, China adopted an incentive regime generally consistent with its WTO commitments and could be utilized to its advantages. However, serious problems inherent in the incentive system have already emerged in China, which may hamper its economic development in the long run. The thesis shows that the state’s capacity to channel FDI towards development goals is declining, as its intrusiveness has given way to arbitrariness. A top-down approach deprives foreign investors of their channels to communicate their opinions to the policymakers. The local arbitrariness and corruption in incentive implementation will compound the problem and hinder the inflows of high quality foreign investment. The thesis then proposes that the investment incentive regime in China needs to be upgraded into a more legalized system with non-discrimination, transparency, coherence and an effective monitoring mechanism as its central features. The legalization process would help to alleviate the negative effects of investment incentives. In the absence of a political infrastructure compatible with a rules-based system, the Chinese government needs to start with redefining the government-business relationship with a legal framework and reinforcing an independent judicial system.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.source.urihttp://hub.hku.hk/bib/B50533757-
dc.subject.lcshInvestments, Foreign - Government policy - China-
dc.subject.lcshInvestments, Foreign - Law and legislation - China.-
dc.titleThe effectiveness and legitimacy of investment incentive regime in China: dilemmas of state intervention-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5053375-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineLaw-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5053375-
dc.date.hkucongregation2012-

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