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Essays on Government Finance

Wenjing Li, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


This dissertation focuses on topics related to government finance, including tax policy and local government finance. Specifically, this dissertation starts with a research on how changes in deed tax policy have affected the real estate market prices in China. In general, I find a negative deed tax effect on the residential real estate market prices. This study contributes to the literature by providing an intertemporal and spatial analysis of the deed tax effects. My findings indicate that the government’s policy of manipulating the deed tax rates to affect the Chinese real estate market has been effective. The second and third essays focus on local government finance by analyzing debt finance versus tax finance in U.S. cities and debt finance versus land finance in Chinese cities, respectively. In the second essay, I investigate household location reactions to local government finance choices between debt and taxes. I find that more reliance on debt finance over tax finance by cities weakly but significantly encourages residents to move. In this analysis, I use fiscally standardized U.S. city data which enables meaningful comparison among cities. In the third essay, I estimate land finance effects on local government debt financing in China. After correcting for selection bias, I find that cities tend to issue more quasi-municipal bonds when the land markets perform well, but do not seem to consider the land market fluctuations and economic conditions. This study contributes to the literature by providing an insightful analysis of local government borrowing in the prefecture-level cities and informs policymakers on the risks of using quasi-municipal bonds in China.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Li, Wenjing, "Essays on Government Finance" (2017). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI10616850.