Guonan Ma

Guonan MaGuonan Ma is a senior economist at the Representative Office for Asia and the Pacific of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). Before joining the BIS in 2001, he worked as a chief North Asia economist for ten years at various investment banks, including Merrill Lynch, Salomon Smith Barney and Bankers Trust. Prior to his investment bank career, he was a lecturer of economics and research fellow at the Australian National University for four years following the completion of his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Pittsburgh (1990). Dr Ma was born in China where he obtained his undergraduate degree at Beijing University (1982). Guonan Ma has many publications on the Asian and Chinese economies and financial markets over the years.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Why is the Chinese Saving Rate so High?
Authors: Guonan Ma & Wang Yi

China’s saving rate is high from many perspectives – historical experience, international standards and model predictions. Furthermore, the average saving rate has been rising over time, with much of the increase taking place in the 2000s. What sets China apart from the rest of the world is that its rising aggregate saving has reflected high savings rates in all three sectors: corporate, household and government. Our evidence casts doubt on the proposition that distortions and subsidies account for China’s high saving rate. Instead, we argue that tough corporate restructuring (including pension and home ownership reforms), a marked Lewismodel transformation process (where the average wage exceeds the marginal product of labour in the subsistence sector) and rapid ageing process have all played more important roles. Such structural factors suggest that the Chinese saving rate may peak over the coming years.

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