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Author:Wen, Yi 

Working Paper
The great housing boom of China

China's housing prices have been growing nearly twice as fast as national income in the past decade despite (1) a phenomenal rate of return to capital and (2) an alarmingly high vacancy rate. This paper interprets such a prolonged paradoxical housing boom as a rational bubble that emerges naturally from China's large-scale economic transition, featuring an exceptionally high rate of return to capital driven by massive resource reallocation. Because such primarily resource-reallocation-driven high capital returns are not sustainable in the long run, expectations of high future demand for ...
FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper , Paper 2015-3

Journal Article
Food Prices and Inflation in China and the U.S. Are Following Similar Paths

A look at food prices in the two countries helps to explain the increasing correlation in their inflation patterns. One reason why their food prices are moving together is the increased trade between the countries.
The Regional Economist

Journal Article
Recovery from the Great Recession Has Varied around the World

Since 2009, percentage growth in GDP has been the highest in Asia and Africa and the lowest in Europe, followed by North America. The mediocre performance on the latter two continents could have something to do with their advanced and open financial systems, which might have made it easier for the global financial crisis to spread through them.
The Regional Economist , Issue Oct

Journal Article
Trapped: Few Developing Countries Can Climb the Economic Ladder or Stay There

Despite the theory of global economic convergence, few developing countries have actually been able to catch up to the income levels in the U.S. or other advanced economies. They remain trapped at a relatively low- or middle-income level.
The Regional Economist , Issue Oct

Journal Article
China's Rapid Rise: From Backward Agrarian Society to Industrial Powerhouse in Just 35 Years

China?s industrial revolution over the past 35 years is probably one of the most important economic and geopolitical phenomena since the original Industrial Revolution in the 18th century. The rapid growth has puzzled many, in part because China tried and failed at this transformation before. What was the ?secret? this time?
The Regional Economist , Issue April

Journal Article
Income and Living Standards within the Eighth District

In this article, we have look at the distribution of living standards in terms of the purchasing power of real per capita personal income by county using RPPs. Adjusting income for cost of living allows us to evaluate inequality in income?s local purchasing power instead of income per se. We see that overall inequality is not so severe in the District once adjusted for the cost of living, both across counties and in comparison to the nation. We also see that living standards tend to be higher within MSAs than outside them. In general, inequality is less severe when measured by living ...
The Regional Economist , Volume 26 , Issue 1

Journal Article
Understanding the Roots of the U.S. Trade Deficit

The rise of the U.S. dollar as an international reserve currency and a shift in comparative advantage in manufacturing are key economic changes driving the large U.S. trade deficit.
The Regional Economist , Volume 26 , Issue 3

Journal Article
Looking for the Positives In Negative Interest Rates

Negative interest rates may seem ludicrous since why would an individual buy a government bond with a negative yield, but this is what a central bank would like you to think. The central bank?s goal is to incentivize agents to shift investments away from government bonds to something more productive economically, thus stimulating the economy.
The Regional Economist , Volume 25 , Issue 4

Journal Article
Can rising housing prices explain China’s high household saving rate?

China?s average household saving rate is one of the highest in the world. One popular view attributes the high saving rate to fast-rising housing prices and other living costs in China. This article uses simple economic logic to show that rising housing prices and living costs per se cannot explain China?s high household saving rate. Although borrowing constraints and demographic changes can help translate housing prices to the aggregate saving rate, quantitative simulations using Chinese data on household income, housing prices, and demographics indicate that rising mortgage costs contribute ...
Review , Volume 93 , Issue Mar , Pages 67-88

Journal Article
Relative Income Traps

Despite economic growth in the post-World War II period, few developing countries have been able to catch up to the income levels in the United States or other advanced economies. Such countries remain trapped at a relative low- or middle-income level. In this article, the authors redefine the concept of income traps as situations in which income levels relative to the United States remain constantly low and with no clear sign of convergence. This approach allows them to study the issue of economic convergence (or lack of it) directly. The authors describe evidence pointing to the existence ...
Review , Volume 98 , Issue 1 , Pages 41-60

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