Market Emergence and Transition: Arbitrage, Transaction Costs, and Autarky in China's Grain Markets
16 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2020
Date Written: February 2002
Using trimonthly Chinese provincial grain prices from 1988 to 1995, we estimate a parity‐bounds model of interregional trade for four subperiods to characterize how multiple aspects of market performance change during the process of economic transition. For each period, we estimate the extent to which arbitrage opportunities are realized by traders, the transaction costs between location pairs, and the likelihood that regions do not trade. Trade restrictions cannot explain the pattern of uneven market development over time. Infrastructure bottlenecks, managerial incentive reforms, and production specialization policies, all were likely important factors affecting market performance.
Keywords: arbitrage, China, grain, integration, markets, transaction costs, transition, P320, Q130
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