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Institutional Change in Transitional Economies: The Case of Accounting in China


Author Info

  • David Chu

    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • Kolleen Rask

    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)

  • Thomas Gottschang

    (Department of Economics, College of the Holy Cross)


A major economic mystery of the 1990s is why the transition to market-based systems has been so difficult. Key strategic services such as financial, legal, and accounting services are relatively deficient in transitional economies due to decades of being supplanted by the command structure. China's deliberate path of institutional change, which has allowed strategic services to evolve along with the market structure, stands in sharp contrast to the Eastern European emphasis on liberalization and privatization. Regenerating the professional personnel, legal framework and standards is a difficult task. We offer a detailed case study of the accounting profession in China, illustrating both the necessity and the complexity of the solution.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 9804.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Comparative Economic Studies, Vol. 40:4, Winter 1998, pp. 76-100.
Handle: RePEc:hcx:wpaper:9804

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Keywords: Accounting; China; transition economies;


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Cited by:
  1. Sami, Heibatollah & Zhou, Haiyan, 2004. "A comparison of value relevance of accounting information in different segments of the Chinese stock market," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 403-427.
  2. David Chu & Kolleen Rask, 2002. "The Transformation of China's Health Care System and Accounting Methods: Current Reforms and Developments," Working Papers 0208, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
  3. Chiapello, Eve & Ding, Yuan, 2005. "Searching for the accounting features of capitalism: an illustration with the economic transition process in China," Les Cahiers de Recherche 817, HEC Paris.


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