Thursday, March 24, 2005

Request for help on China 

I have a student who is visiting China -- and taking years to do so -- who will do an independent study with me. We want to test the ability of an entrepreneur in China to set up a retail shop in and out of the special economic zones, and both formally and informally. This is a replication, somewhat, of the experiments Hernando de Soto explored first in Peru with The Other Path then continued in the first chapter of The Mystery of Capital; indeed, de Soto is our inspiration for the independent study.

I've been reading a good bit about China, but since I'm at heart a monetary economist most of my reading has focused on the RMB/dollar exchange rate. See this from Nouriel Roubini, Brad Setser, and Stephen Roach, for example. (I don't have time to comment today, sorry, perhaps another time.) But I would like to find something more on the costs of doing business in China, particularly after NARN's interview of Ethan Gutmann last year. I have some information on doing business in China from the World Bank, which is a good example of what we're looking for.