Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0329-6559

Year of Publication

2021

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Business and Economics

Department/School/Program

Economics

First Advisor

Dr. William H. Hoyt

Abstract

My dissertation consists of three essays that study the economic consequences of China’s high-speed rail (HSR) expansion.

In the first essay, I use the college admission cutoff scores to reveal students’ college preferences under the enrollment quota. By exploiting the quasi-experimental variation in whether or not college cities are connected by the HSR network, I document a two-point increase in the cutoff scores following a HSR station opening in the college city using difference-in-difference (DD) approach. Colleges in the megacities experience a larger increase in cutoff scores after the station opening. These findings suggest that the HSR network stimulates “brain drain” from unconnected cities to connected cities, especially connected megacities.

The second essay examines the impact of better HSR accessibility on housing prices in Jiangsu Province. Using transaction data of new houses aggregated to the complex level, I compare the housing prices of properties close to the new HSR stations to those close to pre-existing HSR stations, before and after the new station openings. In a DD specification, I document that housing prices decrease by twenty percent in the areas where the station distance reduces due to the station opening outside the city.

The third essay investigates the impacts on household income. Using DD approach, I document that urban households experience a significant increase in total household income following the opening of HSR station in their city. While labor earnings increase, the probability of having business income decreases. Moreover, labor income of the households whose heads work in the manufacturing sector increases little, but for households whose heads work in the transport or communications sectors increases much more than other households, suggesting that the HSR network facilitates urban industry specialization.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2021.322

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