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Self-Employment With Chinese Characteristics: The Forgotten Engine Of Rural China'S Growth

  • JIAN ZHANG
  • LINXIU ZHANG
  • SCOTT ROZELLE
  • STEVE BOUCHER

This article sketches a picture of the self-employment sector in rural China and examines the nature of its emergence. Using a randomly selected, nationally representative household-level data set that contains detailed information on household self-employment activities, this article provides evidence that although the self-employed enterprises are small, they have grown fast, operate as relatively complex businesses, and perform well in a financially healthy way. These results, taken together with the pattern of the emergence of self-employed enterprises across China's regions, reveal that the expansion of self-employment is not symptomatic of a failing economy; instead it is a component of the dynamic development process that characterizes rural China during its reform period. "("JEL "J23, D21, O12)" Copyright 2006 Western Economic Association International.

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Article provided by Western Economic Association International in its journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 24 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (07)
Pages: 446-458

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Handle: RePEc:bla:coecpo:v:24:y:2006:i:3:p:446-458
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