IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/jecper/v26y2012i4p147-70.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

How Did China Take Off?

Author

Listed:
  • Yasheng Huang

Abstract

There are two prevailing perspectives on how China took off. One emphasizes the role of globalization—foreign trade and investments and special economic zones; the other emphasizes the role of internal reforms, especially rural reforms. Detailed documentary and quantitative evidence provides strong support for the second hypothesis. To understand how China's economy took off requires an accurate and detailed understanding of its rural development, especially rural industry spearheaded by the rise of township and village enterprises. Many China scholars believe that township and village enterprises have a distinct ownership structure—that they are owned and operated by local governments rather than by private entrepreneurs. I will show that township and village enterprises from the inception have been private and that China undertook significant and meaningful financial liberalization at the very start of reforms. Rural private entrepreneurship and financial reforms correlate strongly with some of China's best-known achievements—poverty reduction, fast GDP growth driven by personal consumption (rather than by corporate investments and government spending), and an initial decline of income inequality. The conventional view of China scholars is right about one point—that today's Chinese financial sector is completely state-controlled. This is because China reversed almost all of its financial liberalization sometime around the early to mid 1990s. This financial reversal, despite its monumental effect on the welfare of hundreds of millions of rural Chinese, is almost completely unknown in the West.

Suggested Citation

  • Yasheng Huang, 2012. "How Did China Take Off?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(4), pages 147-170, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:147-70
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.26.4.147
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/jep.26.4.147
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Barry Naughton, 2007. "The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262640643, January.
    2. Sean Dougherty & Richard Herd, 2005. "Fast-Falling Barriers and Growing Concentration: The Emergence of a Private Economy in China," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 471, OECD Publishing.
    3. Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, "undated". "Insecure Property Rights and Government Ownership of Firms," Working Papers 97050, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
    4. Gérard Roland, 2004. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026268148x, January.
    5. Jiahua Che & Yingyi Qian, 1998. "Insecure Property Rights and Government Ownership of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 467-496.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Wei Jin & ZhongXiang Zhang, 2016. "China's pursuit of environmentally sustainable development: Harnessing the new engine of technological innovation," CCEP Working Papers 1601, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Raül Santaeulàlia-Llopis & Yu Zheng, 2017. "Why Is Food Consumption Inequality Underestimated? A Story of Vices and Children," Working Papers 969, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Gunby, Philip & Jin, Yinghua & Robert Reed, W., 2017. "Did FDI Really Cause Chinese Economic Growth? A Meta-Analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 242-255.
    4. repec:elg:eechap:15325_22 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2017. "East Asian Financial and Economic Development," Working Papers id:12112, eSocialSciences.
    6. Guanghua Wan & Peter J. Morgan & Harry X. Wu, 2016. "Sustainability of China's Growth Model: A Productivity Perspective," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 24(5), pages 42-70, September.
    7. Qian, Meijun & Huang, Yasheng, 2016. "Political institutions, entrenchments, and the sustainability of economic development – A lesson from rural finance," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 152-178.
    8. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1435-x is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Eliane Araújo & Andre Nassif & Carmem Feijo, 2018. "Structural Change, Catching Up And Falling Behind In The Brics: A Comparative Analysis Based On Trade Pattern And Thirlwall?S Law," Anais do XLIV Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 44th Brazilian Economics Meeting] 89, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pós-Graduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    10. Mallick, Sushanta & Marques, Helena, 2016. "Pricing strategy of emerging market exporters in alternate currency regimes: The role of comparative advantage," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 68-81.
    11. World Bank Group, 2017. "Special Economic Zones," World Bank Other Operational Studies 29054, The World Bank.
    12. Randall Morck & Bernard Yeung, 2017. "East Asian Financial and Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 23845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • P24 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - National Income, Product, and Expenditure; Money; Inflation
    • P25 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Urban, Rural, and Regional Economics

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:26:y:2012:i:4:p:147-70. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael P. Albert). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.