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China's GDP Level and Growth Performance: Alternative Estimates and the Implications

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  • Wu, Harry X

Abstract

This study critically evaluates alternative estimates of China's GDP level and growth, as well as its PPP GDP conversions, and, based on this evaluation, it draws important implications for the understanding of China's economic performance in both historical and international perspectives. It finds that although almost all empirical results have supported the downward-bias hypothesis for China's GDP level and the upward-bias hypothesis for China's GDP growth, they vary greatly, and that PPP estimates for China are also diversified. These estimates, if accepted, may substantially alter the existing views on the Chinese economy, particularly, its size, TFP level and catch-up performance. The discussion focuses on the theories, methodologies and data used in these studies, and particularly, the possible biases in their results thereby. It argues, however, that despite differences in estimates, they could still provide sensible boundaries for researchers to gauge the "real" values and hence assess China's "real" living standard and growth performance. Copyright 2000 by The International Association for Research in Income and Wealth.

Suggested Citation

  • Wu, Harry X, 2000. "China's GDP Level and Growth Performance: Alternative Estimates and the Implications," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 475-499, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:46:y:2000:i:4:p:475-99
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    Cited by:

    1. Chen, G.Q. & Chen, B., 2007. "Resource analysis of the Chinese society 1980-2002 based on energy--Part 5: Resource structure and intensity," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 2087-2095, April.
    2. Martin Ravallion, 2003. "Measuring Aggregate Welfare in Developing Countries: How Well Do National Accounts and Surveys Agree?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(3), pages 645-652, August.
    3. Adam Szirmai & Ruoen Ren & Manyin Bai, 2005. "Chinese Manufacturing Performance in Comparative Perspective, 1980-2002," Working Papers 920, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    4. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
    5. Li, Kui-Wai & Liu, Tung, 2011. "Economic and productivity growth decomposition: An application to post-reform China," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 28(1-2), pages 366-373, January.
    6. Harry X. Wu, 2006. "The Chinese GDP Growth Rate Puzzle: How Fast Has the Chinese Economy Grown?," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d06-176, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    7. Scheibe, Jörg & Vines, David, 2005. "A Phillips Curve for China," CEPR Discussion Papers 4957, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Centre for the Study of Living Standards, 2003. "China’s Productivity Performance and its Impact on Poverty in the Transition Period," CSLS Research Reports 2003-07, Centre for the Study of Living Standards.
    9. Wu, Harry X., 2001. "China's comparative labour productivity performance in manufacturing, 1952-1997: Catching up or falling behind?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 162-189.
    10. Lee, Boon L. & Rao, D.S. Prasada & Shepherd, William, 2007. "Comparisons of real output and productivity of Chinese and Indian manufacturing, 1980-2002," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 378-416, September.
    11. Kang, Lili & Peng, Fei, 2013. "Growth Accounting Analysis in China 1978-2009," MPRA Paper 50827, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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