China may soon become the world’s largest economy, but most academic research in top journals is based on U.S. data. The insights from papers on U.S. data may not automatically apply to China, since it has a unique set of institutional features, hence the need for research specific to China. At the same time, many aspects of the Chinese economy are shared by other developing as well as developed countries, such as the potential conflicts of interest between majority and minority shareholders, the prevalence of state ownership, and the intricate interactions between market mechanisms and policy interventions. Thus, the insights from papers on China may be applicable to countries far beyond China.
The Review of Finance has already published several papers on China; we have collated some of the highest-impact papers into a virtual special issue which is available here. The lead article of the July 2020 issue will be Corporate Governance in China: A Survey, which was commissioned by the editors from scratch. However, more research on the topic is necessary as our understanding of the Chinese economy remain still limited.
The Review of Finance is launching a Special Issue on China, guest edited by Zhiguo He (University of Chicago) and co-edited by Yongxiang Wang (University of Southern California, Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance, and Associate Editor of the RF). We welcome papers on all aspects of financial economics in China, including asset pricing, capital markets, financial intermediation, corporate finance, and corporate governance (for the latter, the conclusion of the above survey suggests potential research directions). While we expect the majority of submitted papers to be empirical, we are also open to theory papers modelling issues in financial economics that are specific to China, “future of research” papers similar to the one on corporate governance, and papers involving the evaluation/certification of China data sets and giving best practice on how to manage them. (An example in a non-China context is the recent RF Spängler/IQAM Best Paper studying what are the best data sources to measure liquidity). Papers on the consequences of and responses to the coronavirus in China are also welcome, although this is only one of many topics of interest.
The standard for publication will be the same as for any other RF paper, which is to apply the standards of a top-three finance journal. However, as noted in the RF’s policy, this high bar applies particular weight to the importance and innovativeness of the research question (rather than only the precision of the execution). Given the relative paucity of research on China, papers on China may have particular potential to cross this bar. To ensure that editorial and refereeing resources can focus on the highest-quality papers, the standard submission fee is required, and we will desk-reject papers that are unlikely to cross the RF’s publication standard. The guest editors will have ultimate discretion on whether a paper is accepted for the special issue, i.e. they do not need to obtain approval from the RF’s editors to accept a paper (although they may seek their advice and delegate desk rejection decisions).
The submission window is from September 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020. Authors should submit papers using the standard RF submission website and select “Special Issue on China” as the “Category of Submission” in Step 2. Both Regular and Fast Track submissions will be considered. Papers will be entered into the review process as soon as they are received (i.e. the guest editors will not wait until the end of the submission window before starting the process). As per the RF’s policy, we aim to conditionally accept or reject papers by the second round. Depending on the time taken to revise and resubmit papers, we hope to publish the special issue in late 2021 or early 2022.
If feasible, given the state of the pandemic, the University of Chicago’s Becker Friedman Institute – China (of which Zhiguo He serves as Director) will hold a conference in mid-2021 for papers that have been given R&Rs, to increase the visibility of papers submitted to the Special Issue. This conference will be held at the University of Chicago, be jointly sponsored by the Review of Finance, and cover the costs of presenting authors and discussants. Authors of papers on China can feel free to submit them before the September 1, 2020 submission window. Such papers will be processed as regular submissions and be handled by the RF’s regular editors rather than the guest editors. However, at the guest editors’ discretion, papers that are given R&Rs may be invited to the conference, and papers that are eventually accepted may be published in the Special Issue rather than a regular issue.