The Great Wall of Debt: Real Estate, Political Risk, and Chinese Local Government Financing Cost
48 Pages Posted: 7 May 2015 Last revised: 29 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 18, 2018
Chengtou bond is the soli asset with market prices that can capture the funding cost of Chinese local government debt. In contrast to the U.S. municipal bonds, Chengtou bonds are issued by private corporations but implicitly guaranteed by the local hence central governments, which are reflected by novel risk characteristics --- real estate GDP and political risk. One standard deviation increase in local real estate GDP (political risk) corresponds to 10 (9) basis points decrease (increase) in bond yields, respectively. However, conditional on political risk, real estate GDP actually increases bond yields, suggesting that only local governments with low political risk can enjoy the low funding costs driven by high real estate growth.
Keywords: Chinese local government debt, real estate, political risk, government guarantee
JEL Classification: D73, G12, G14, G28, H74
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