Hongsong Zhang
Dr. Hongsong ZHANG
經濟學
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
政府外部監管能否改善國企績效?

通過分析中國各地監管政策力度的變化和中國企業的地理分佈,我們研究了政府外部監管對國有企業績效的影響。該研究利用結構化的分析方法,使用常用的企業級別生產數據,估算出企業的生產率和中間投入品價格。研究顯示,加强外部監管是提高企業治理的關鍵,可大幅消減中間投入品的采購價格並大幅減少生產管理中的懈怠現象。結果表面,政府監管可以成爲改善國有企業績效的有效政策工具。

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.

從中國製造商看進口商品的類別對生產率增長的影響

本文研究資本品進口和中間品進口對促進企業生產率增長的不同效果,並量化分析關稅結構對發展中國家貿易自由化的重要性。團隊經過審視大量中國製造企業的數據,證明相比中間品進口,資本品進口能更大的提升企業生產率。雖然兩類進口都能即時提高進口企業的生產率,但唯獨資本品進口能產生動態生產力效應。另一方面,我們發現資本品進口和研究開發有顯著的協同效應和誘導效應:資本品進口不僅能和研究開發協同產生更大的生產率效應,而且更能誘導更多的研究開發。但未有證據證明中間品進口也能產生類似效果。團隊還研究了中國因加入世界貿易組織而下調投入品進口關稅對企業生產率的影響。我們發現,由此帶來的生產率效應中,18%可以歸結為關稅結構的改變。

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.