This paper investigates how government size affects tax evasion in China. Using matched county-firm data for 1998-2005, we estimate the impact of county government size on the relationship between a firm's reported profit and imputed profit based on the national income accounts. A larger government is found to be correlated with more severe tax evasion, especially for state-owned and collectively-owned firms. Such an effect is stronger when local governance become worse. This paper shows that a large government does not bring about a strong state capacity to enforce tax rules at the local level in China.
The support for the elderly is facing big challenges with the problem of population aging. Transfers from adult children could partly insure elderly parents against low income and high medical expenditure. There are two main motives for transfers in the literature, namely altruism and exchange. By using data from a new household survey of people aged 45 years and above in China, we estimate the transfer derivatives with the adjustment of medical expenditure in elderly parents' income. We find a large negative impact of adjusted income on transfers at the lower end of income distribution, which is consistent with the altruistic motive. Evidence on the exchange motive is found only for sons, but not for daughters. In addition, there is evidence on the 'exchange-for-service' motive, which interprets transfer as a payment to parents' family services, such as taking care of grandchildren.
Housing price has increased dramatically in China during the past decade. The appreciation of house value could relax credit constraint and thus encourage entrepreneurship. However, a house serves as both an important investment channel and a prerequisite for marriage in China. The continuous high return of investment in housing and intensified marriage market competition make house purchase a priority for young people and their parents, which would crowd out entrepreneurial activities. Using two large datasets, we find that high housing price in general discourages entrepreneurial activities for urban adults. For house owners, while house value appreciation has a positive wealth effect, the ratio of mortgage over income has a negative effect. For non-owners, a higher ratio of housing price over income corresponds to a lower probability of entrepreneurship. This study highlights the negative consequences of surging housing price on entrepreneurship in developing countries.