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Labour, Demography, and the Export-oriented Growth Model in China


  • Yang YAO

    () (Peking University, China)

  • Miaojie YU

    () (Peking University, China)


In this paper, we argue that the export-oriented growth model in China is an unavoidable choice for China given its demographics and low level of urbanisation. The low dependency ratio and low urbanisation rate jointly determine a large amount of supply of labour and the slow growth of labour income, which in turn leads to the rapid accumulation of capital and the manufacturing sector. However, the two factors also determine a relatively small domestic market, and the only way to clear the market is to export. Judging by the pace of China's demographic transition and urbanisation, we expect that China's export-oriented model will continue up until 2025.

Suggested Citation

  • Yang YAO & Miaojie YU, 2009. "Labour, Demography, and the Export-oriented Growth Model in China," The Journal of Comparative Economic Studies (JCES), The Japanese Society for Comparative Economic Studies (JSCES), vol. 5, pages 61-78, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:cos:epaper:v:5:y:2009:p:61-78

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bloom, David E & Williamson, Jeffrey G, 1998. "Demographic Transitions and Economic Miracles in Emerging Asia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 12(3), pages 419-455, September.
    2. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miaojie Yu, 2010. "Processing Trade, Firm's Productivity, and Tariff Reductions : Evidence from Chinese Products," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22799, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    2. Ouyang, Puman & Zhang, Teng & Dong, Yan, 2015. "Market potential, firm exports and profit: Which market do the Chinese firms profit from?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 94-108.

    More about this item


    Labour; Demography; Export-oriented Growth;

    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General
    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General


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