Hongsong Zhang
Dr. Hongsong ZHANG
经济学
Associate Director, Institute of China Economy
Associate Professor

2859 2780

KK 906

Academic & Professional Qualification
  • Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
  • M.A., Peking University
  • B.A., China Youth University for Political Sciences
Biography

Dr. Hongsong ZHANG is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Hong Kong (HKU), and the Associate Director for the Institute for China and Global Development at HKU. His main research interests cover topics in empirical industrial organization, international trade, and applied microeconomics, with a special focus on how firms’ competitiveness in productivity, supplier network, and demand affects firm performance in the domestic and international markets. His research has been published in leading general interest and top field journals in Economics, such as International Economic Review (x2), European Economic Review, and Journal of Development Economics. Starting 2020, he also serves as an Associate Editor for the International Journal of Industrial Organization (IJIO). He has won multiple external grants from the General Research Funds of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. He also serves as an Executive Committee Member for China Trade Research Group since 2018.

Dr. Zhang obtained his Ph.D. in Economics from the Pennsylvania State University in 2013, M.A. in Economics from Peking University, and B.A. in Economics from the China Youth University for Political Sciences. He joined the HKU Business School at The University of Hong Kong as Assistant Professor in 2013.

Research Interest
  • Empirical Industrial Organization
  • International Trade
  • Productivity, Supplier Network and Firm Dynamics
Selected Publications
  • “Input Prices, Productivity, and Trade Dynamics: Long-Run Effects of Liberalization on Chinese Paint Manufacturers”,
    with Paul L. E. Grieco and Shengyu Li. The RAND Journal of Economics, Accepted.
  • “Does External Monitoring from the Government Improve the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises?”,
    with Shengyu Li. The Economic Journal, Vol 132, Issue 642, Pages 675-708, February 2022.
  • “What You Import Matters for Productivity Growth: Experience from Chinese Manufacturing Firms”,
    with Jiawei Mo, Larry D. Qiu, and Xiaoyu Dong.​ Journal of Development Economics, Vol 152, Article 102677, September 2021​.
  • “Non-Neutral Technology, Firm Heterogeneity, and Labor Demand”,​
    ​​​Journal of Development Economics, Vol 140, Pages 145-168, September 2019.
  • “Productivity or Unexpected Demand Shocks: What Determines Firms’ Investment and Exit Decisions?”,
    with Pradeep Kumar. International Economic Review, Vol 60, Issue 1, Pages 303-327, February 2019.
  • “Static and Dynamic Gains from Costly Importing of Intermediate Inputs: Evidence from Colombia”,
    European Economic Review, Vol 91, Pages 118-145, January 2017.
  • “Production Function Estimation with Unobserved Input Price Dispersion”,
    with Paul L. E. Grieco and Shengyu Li. International Economic Review, Vol 57, Issue 2, Pages 665-690, May 2016.
Working Papers
  • “Technology Training, Contract Trade, and Quality Upgrading in an Agricultural Supply Chain”,
    with Sangyoon Park and Zhaoneng Yuan, March 2022.
  • “Output Quality, Productivity Growth, and Resource Reallocation”,
    ​ with Jing Li and Shengyu Li, October 2021.
  • “Epidemics, Inventory, and Markup: Evidence from the 2003 SARS Shock in China”,
    with Yating Jiang, August 2021.
  • “How Do Hospitals Respond Differently to Competition? Quality, Prices, and Efficiency”, ​
    with Mona Luan and Zhigang Tao, August 2018.
  •  “What Goods Do Countries Produce and Trade? The Role of Technology-Endowment Matching”,
    with Xiaoping Chen, 2017.
Recent Publications
政府外部监管能否改善国企绩效?

通过分析中国各地监管政策力度的变化和中国企业的地理分布,我们研究了政府外部监管对国有企业绩效的影响。该研究利用结构化的分析方法,使用常用的企业级别生产数据,估算出企业的生产率和中间投入品价格。研究显示,加强外部监管是提高企业治理的关键,可大幅消减中间投入品的采购价格并大幅减少生产管理中的懈怠现象。结果表面,政府监管可以成为改善国有企业绩效的有效政策工具。

Does External Monitoring from Government Improve the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises?

Dr Hongsong Zhang of HKU Business School and Dr Shengyu Li of University of New South Wales discussed in this VoxChina piece their investigation of the impact of external monitoring from the government on state-owned enterprise performance, using the variation in monitoring strength arising from a nationwide policy change and firms’ geographic location in China. We utilize a structural approach to estimate input prices and productivity separately at the firm level using commonly available production data. We show that enhanced external monitoring, as a key component of corporate governance, can substantially reduce managerial expropriation in procurement and shirking in production management. The results suggest that government monitoring can be an effective policy instrument to improve state-owned enterprise performance.

从中国制造商看进口商品的类别对生产率增长的影响

本文研究资本品进口和中间品进口对促进企业生产率增长的不同效果,并量化分析关税结构对发展中国家贸易自由化的重要性。团队经过审视大量中国制造企业的数据,证明相比中间品进口,资本品进口能更大的提升企业生产率。虽然两类进口都能即时提高进口企业的生产率,但唯独资本品进口能产生动态生产力效应。另一方面,我们发现资本品进口和研究开发有显著的协同效应和诱导效应:资本品进口不仅能和研究开发协同产生更大的生产率效应,而且更能诱导更多的研究开发。但未有证据证明中间品进口也能产生类似效果。团队还研究了中国因加入世界贸易组织而下调投入品进口关税对企业生产率的影响。我们发现,由此带来的生产率效应中,18%可以归结为关税结构的改变。

Does External Monitoring from Government Improve the Performance of State-Owned Enterprises?

In this paper we investigate the impact of external monitoring from the government on state-owned enterprise performance, using the variation in monitoring strength arising from a nationwide policy change and firms’ geographic location in China. We utilise a structural approach to estimate input prices and productivity separately at the firm level using commonly available production data. We show that enhanced external monitoring, as a key component of corporate governance, can substantially reduce managerial expropriation in procurement (proxied by input prices) and shirking in production management (proxied by productivity). The results suggest that government monitoring can be an effective policy instrument to improve state-owned enterprise performance.

Productivity or Unexpected Demand Shocks: What Determines Firms’ Investment And Exit Decisions?

We investigate the roles played by unexpected demand shocks, besides productivity, on firms' capital investment and exit decisions. We propose a practical approach to recover unexpected firm‐level demand shocks using inventory data. The recognition of demand shocks and inventory also improves the productivity estimation. The empirical results indicate that although productivity and demand shocks are both significant factors determining firm behavior, the former is more dominant for investment decision and the latter is more salient for firm exit. These findings confirm that unexpected demand shocks, besides persistent productivity, are important factors when analyzing capital investment and firm exit decisions.