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Why Chinas Economic Reforms Differ: The M-Form Hierarchy and Entry/Expansion of the Non-State Sector

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  • Yingyi Qian
  • Chenggang Xu
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    Abstract

    China's thirteen years of reforms (1979-1991) have achieved an average GNP annual growth rate of 8.6%. What makes China's reforms from those of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union is the sustained entry and expansion of the non-state sector. We argue that the organization structure of the economy matters. Unlike their unitary hierarchical structure based on the functional or specialization principles (the U-form), China's hierarchical economy has been the multi-layer-multi-regional one mainly based on territorial principle (the deep M-form, or briefly, the M-form). Reforms have further decentralized the M-form economy along regional lines, which provided flexibility and opportunities for carrying out regional experiments, for the rise of non-state enterprises, and for the emergence of markets. This is why China's non-state sector share of industrial output increased from 22% in 1978 to 47% in 1991 and its private sector's share from zero to about 10%, both being achieved without mass privatization and changes in the political system.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0154.

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    Date of creation: Jun 1993
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0154

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    Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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    Cited by:
    1. Fung, Michael K. Y. & Ho, Wai-Ming & Zhu, Lijing, 2000. "Stagflationary effect of government bond financing in the transforming Chinese economy: a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 111-135, February.
    2. Maria Csanadi, 2011. "Varieties of System Transformations and Their Structural Background Based on the IPS Model," DANUBE: Law and Economics Review, European Association Comenius - EACO, issue 1, pages 33-63, March.
    3. Alexandra Reppegather & Manuela Troschke, 2006. "Graduelle Transformation von Wirtschaftsordnungen: Ein Vergleich der Reformstrategien Chinas und Usbekistans," Working Papers 260, Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and South-East European Studies).
    4. Wang, Qian & Wong, T.J. & Xia, Lijun, 2008. "State ownership, the institutional environment, and auditor choice: Evidence from China," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 112-134, September.
    5. Zhang, Yongjing, 2012. "A view from behavioral political economy on China's institutional change," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 991-1002.
    6. Nie, Huihua & Jiang, Minjie & Wang, Xianghong, 2013. "The impact of political cycle: Evidence from coalmine accidents in China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 995-1011.
    7. Liu, Guy S. & Sun, Pei & Woo, Wing Thye, 2006. "The Political Economy of Chinese-Style Privatization: Motives and Constraints," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2016-2033, December.
    8. Panicos O. Demetriades & Jun Du & Sourafel Girma & Chenggang Xu, 2008. "Does the Chinese Banking System Promote the Growth of Firms?," Discussion Papers in Economics 08/6, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    9. ROZELLE, Scott & SWINNEN, Johan F.M., 2009. "Why did the communist party reform in China, but not in the Soviet Union? The political economy of agricultural transition," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 275-287, June.
    10. Wang, Yuanyuan & You, Jing, 2012. "Corruption and firm growth: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 415-433.
    11. Hu, Fang & Leung, Sidney C.M., 2012. "Top management turnover, firm performance and government control: Evidence from China's listed state-owned enterprises," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 235-262.
    12. Bai, Chong-En & Li, David D. & Tao, Zhigang & Wang, Yijiang, 2000. "A Multitask Theory of State Enterprise Reform," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 716-738, December.
    13. Charles Goodhart & Cheng-Gang Xu, 1996. "The rise of China as an economic power," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3753, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Yingyi, Qian & Roland, Gerard, 1996. "The soft budget constraint in China," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 207-223, June.
    15. Wei, Shang-Jin & Wang, Tao, 1997. "The siamese twins: Do state-owned banks favor state-owned enterprises in China?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 19-29.
    16. Cheng, Yuk-Shing & Chung, Kim-Sau, 2013. "Too many mothers-in-law?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 69-76.
    17. Kung, James Kai-sing & Lin, Yi-min, 2007. "The Decline of Township-and-Village Enterprises in China's Economic Transition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 569-584, April.
    18. Ma, Hengyun & Oxley, Les, 2012. "The emergence and evolution of regional convergence clusters in China's energy markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 82-94.
    19. Li, Hongbin & Zhou, Li-An, 2005. "Political turnover and economic performance: the incentive role of personnel control in China," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(9-10), pages 1743-1762, September.
    20. Ma, Xufei & Delios, Andrew, 2007. "A new tale of two cities: Japanese FDIs in Shanghai and Beijing, 1979-2003," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 207-228, April.
    21. Wang, Yijiang & Chang, Chun, 1998. "Economic transition under a semifederalist government: The experience of China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 1-23.
    22. Du, Julan & Xu, Chenggang, 2009. "Which Firms went Public in China? A Study of Financial Market Regulation," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 812-824, April.

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