Christopher Balding


Christopher BaldingChristopher Balding is an associate professor of finance and economics at the HSBC Business School of Peking University Graduate School. An expert in sovereign wealth funds, he has written a book entitled Sovereign Wealth Funds: The New Intersection of Money and Power published by Oxford University Press. His work has been cited by a variety of global media outlets including the CNBC, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times, and he speaks regularly on the Chinese economy and financial markets. His scholarly work has been published in such leading journals as the Review of International Economics, the International Finance Review and the Journal of Public Economic Theory on such diverse topics as CDS pricing, the WTO, and the economics of adoption and abortion. Prof. Balding received his PhD from the University of California, Irvine, and worked in private equity prior to entering academia. He is married with two daughters, one son, and lives in Shenzhen, China.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Data on Singapore’s Sovereign Wealth Fund is Flawed

This paper undertakes a critique of the quality of Singapore’s public economic data in the context of the claim that one of the island’s sovereign wealth funds, Temasek Holdings, reports that it has earned since inception in 1974 an average annualized rate of return of 16%. Over a similar time period the Singapore stock market earned 4.99% implying that Temasek on average outperformed the local stock market in which it was heavily invested, by a factor of more than three times every year. The paper replicates Temasek’s portfolio and analyses Singapore’s public finances and finds that irregularities may exist within Temasek financials. It concludes that if there are as of yet unknown financial weaknesses within Singaporean public finances that have yet to be realized then given the importance of the island in Asia’s financial markets, this should raise concerns over the quality of financial statements produced by government linked corporations and the public sector.

Read Full Paper >

Data Manipulation of Inflation Statistics Artificially Raises Real GDP

Baseline Chinese economic data are unreliable. Taking published National Bureau of Statistics China data, three problems appear. First, base data on housing price inflation are manipulated. Second, the NBSC misclassifies most Chinese households as private housing occupants. Third, the NSBC applies a straight 80/20 urban/rural private housing weighting. To correct for these manipulative practices, I use third party and related NBSC data to correct the change in consumer prices in China between 2000 and 2011. I find that using conservative assumptions about price increases, the annual CPI in China should be adjusted upwards by approximately 1%. This reduces real Chinese GDP by 8–12% or more than $1 trillion in PPP terms.

Read Full Paper >