FRBSF Working Paper 2017-15
We study the consequences of interest-rate liberalization in a two-sector general equilibrium model of China. The model captures a key feature of China's distorted financial system: state-owned enterprises (SOEs) have greater incentive to expand production and easier access to credit than private firms. In this second-best environment, liberalizing interest rate controls improves capital allocations within each sector, but exacerbates misallocations across sectors. Under calibrated parameters, interest-rate liberalization may reduce aggregate productivity and welfare, unless other policy reforms are also implemented to alleviate SOEs' distorted incentives or improve private firms' credit access.