IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Is the Chinese growth miracle built to last?


  • Prasad, Eswar S.


Is the Chinese growth miracle - a remarkably high growth rate sustained for over two decades - likely to persist or are the seeds of its eventual demise contained in the policies that have boosted growth? For all its presumed flaws, the particular approach to macroeconomic and structural policies that has been adopted by the Chinese government has helped to deliver high productivity and output growth, along with a reasonable degree of macroeconomic stability. There comes a point, however, when the policy distortions needed to maintain this approach could generate imbalances, impose potentially large welfare costs, and themselves become a source of instability. The traditional risks faced by emerging market economies, especially those related to having an open capital account, do not loom large in the case of China. In the process of securing protection against external risks, however, Chinese policymakers may have increased the risks of internal instability. There are a number of factors that could trigger unfavorable economic dynamics that, even if they don't rise to the level of a crisis, could have serious adverse repercussions on growth and welfare. The flexibility and potency of macroeconomic tools to deal with such negative shocks is constrained by the panoply of policies that has supported growth so far.

Suggested Citation

  • Prasad, Eswar S., 2009. "Is the Chinese growth miracle built to last?," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 103-123, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:20:y:2009:i:1:p:103-123

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeffrey Frankel, 2006. "On the Yuan: The Choice between Adjustment under a Fixed Exchange Rate and Adjustment under a Flexible Rate," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(2), pages 246-275, June.
    2. Philippe Bacchetta & Eric van Wincoop, 2006. "Incomplete information processing: a solution to the forward discount puzzle," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    3. David Dollar & Shang-Jin Wei, 2007. "Das (Wasted) Kapital; Firm Ownership and Investment Efficiency in China," IMF Working Papers 07/9, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Marcos D. Chamon & Eswar S. Prasad, 2010. "Why Are Saving Rates of Urban Households in China Rising?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 93-130, January.
    5. Eichengreen, Barry, 2004. "Chinese Currency Controversies," CEPR Discussion Papers 4375, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Allen, Franklin & Qian, Jun & Qian, Meijun, 2005. "Law, finance, and economic growth in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 57-116, July.
    7. M. Ayhan Kose & Eswar Prasad & Kenneth Rogoff & Shang-Jin Wei, 2009. "Financial Globalization: A Reappraisal," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 56(2), pages 143-197, June.
    8. Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, & Philip R. Lane, 2003. "International Financial Integration," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp03, IIIS.
    9. Nicholas R. Lardy, 2006. "China: Toward a Consumption-Driven Growth Path," Policy Briefs PB06-6, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    10. Lamin Y Leigh & Steven V Dunaway & Xiangming Li, 2006. "How Robust are Estimates of Equilibrium Real Exchange Rates; The Case of China," IMF Working Papers 06/220, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Eswar S Prasad & Qing Wang & Thomas Rumbaugh, 2005. "Putting the Cart Before the Horse? Capital Account Liberalization and Exchange Rate Flexibility in China," IMF Policy Discussion Papers 05/1, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Olivier Blanchard & Francesco Giavazzi, 2006. "Rebalancing Growth in China: A Three-Handed Approach," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 14(4), pages 1-20.
    13. Cheung, Yin-Wong & Chinn, Menzie D. & Fujii, Eiji, 2007. "The overvaluation of Renminbi undervaluation," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 762-785, September.
    14. Wendy Dobson & Anil K. Kashyap, 2006. "The Contradiction in China's Gradualist Banking Reforms," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 37(2), pages 103-162.
    15. Morris Goldstein & Nicholas R. Lardy, 2004. "What Kind of Landing for the Chinese Economy?," Policy Briefs PB04-07, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    16. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2006. "Neither a borrower nor a lender: Does China's zero net foreign asset position make economic sense?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(5), pages 943-971, July.
    17. Eswar S. Prasad & Raghuram G. Rajan, 2006. "Modernizing China's Growth Paradigm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 331-336, May.
    18. Lamin Y Leigh & Richard Podpiera, 2006. "The Rise of Foreign Investment in China’s Banks—Taking Stock," IMF Working Papers 06/292, International Monetary Fund.
    19. Jahangir Aziz, 2006. "Rebalancing China’s Economy; What Does Growth Theory Tell Us?," IMF Working Papers 06/291, International Monetary Fund.
    20. Philip R. Lane & Sergio L. Schmukler, 2006. "The international financial integration of China and India," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
    21. Marvin Goodfriend & Eswar Prasad, 2009. "A Framework for Independent Monetary Policy in China," Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Frameworks for Emerging Markets, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    22. Morris Goldstein, 2005. "What Might the Next Emerging-Market Financial Crisis Look Like?," Working Paper Series WP05-7, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    23. Barry Bosworth & Susan M. Collins, 2008. "Accounting for Growth: Comparing China and India," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(1), pages 45-66, Winter.
    24. Richard Podpiera, 2006. "Progress in China’s Banking Sector Reform; Has Bank Behavior Changed?," IMF Working Papers 06/71, International Monetary Fund.
    25. Eswar S Prasad, 2004. "China's Growth and Integration into the World Economy; Prospects and Challenges," IMF Occasional Papers 232, International Monetary Fund.
    26. Olivier Jeanne, 2007. "International Reserves in Emerging Market Countries: Too Much of a Good Thing?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 38(1), pages 1-80.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Jawad, Muhammad & Qayyum, Abdul, 2015. "Modeling the Impact of Policy Environment on Inflows of Worker’s Remittances in Pakistan: A Multivariate Analysis," MPRA Paper 62019, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2015.
    2. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2009. "The evolution of the Sino-American Co-dependency: modelling a regime switch in a growth setting," Department of Economics Working Papers 0905, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    3. Nazmi, Nader & Revilla, Julio E., 2008. "Economic Efficiency and Growth: Evidence from Brazil, China, and India," WIDER Working Paper Series 086, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Ila Patnaik & Ajay Shah, 2009. "The difficulties of the Chinese and Indian exchange rate regimes," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 6(1), pages 157-173, June.
    5. Wendy Dobson, 2011. "History Matters: China and Global Governance," Working Papers id:4515, eSocialSciences.
    6. Yuqing Xing, 2016. "Global Value Chains and China's Exports to High-income Countries," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(2), pages 191-203, June.
    7. repec:bla:buecrs:v:68:y:2016:i:s1:p:146-170 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Udichibarna Bose & Ronald MacDonald & Serafeim Tsoukas, 2014. "Policy initiatives and firms access to external finance: Evidence from a panel of emerging Asian economies," Working Papers 2015_01, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    9. Frankel, Jeffrey, 2016. "Globalization and Chinese Growth: Ends of Trends?," Working Paper Series 16-029, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    10. Bonatti, Luigi & Fracasso, Andrea, 2013. "Regime switches in the Sino-American co-dependency: Growth and structural change in China," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-32.
    11. Bonatti, Luigi & Fracasso, Andrea, 2014. "Modeling the Transition Towards Renminbi's Full Convertibility: Implications for China’s Growth," MPRA Paper 54129, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Arjan de Haan, 2010. "A defining moment? China's social policy response to the financial crisis," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(6), pages 758-771.
    13. Arjan de Haan, 2010. "The Financial Crisis and China’s “Harmonious Societyâ€," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 39(2), pages 69-99.
    14. Dreger, Christian & Zhang, Yanqun, 2014. "Does the economic integration of China affect growth and inflation in industrial countries?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 184-189.
    15. Chien-Chiang Lee & Chi-Chuan Lee & Chun-Ping Chang, 2015. "Globalization, Economic Growth and Institutional Development in China," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(1), pages 31-63, March.
    16. Russell Smyth & Ingrid Nielsen & Qingguo Zhai, 2010. "Personal Well-being in Urban China," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 231-251, January.
    17. Bonatti, Luigi & Fracasso, Andrea, 2013. "Hoarding of international reserves in China: Mercantilism, domestic consumption and US monetary policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 1044-1078.
    18. Bose, Udichibarna & MacDonald, Ronald & Tsoukas, Serafeim, 2015. "Policy initiatives and firms' access to external finance: Evidence from a panel of emerging Asian economies," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-65, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    19. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2012. "The costs of rebalancing the China-US co-dependency," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 120(1), pages 59-106.
    20. Nader Nazmi & Julio Revilla, 2011. "Brazil’s growth performance: a comparative perspective to the Asian giants," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 7-24, April.
    21. Luigi Bonatti & Andrea Fracasso, 2010. "Global Rebalancing and the Future of the Sino-US Codependency," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 18(s1), pages 70-87.
    22. Udichibarna Bose & Ronald McDonald & Serafeim Tsoukas, 2016. "Policy initiatives and Örmsíaccess to external finance: Evidence from a panel of emerging Asian economies," Working Papers 2016_18, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
    23. van Treeck, Till. & Sturn, Simon., 2012. "Income inequality as a cause of the Great Recession? : A survey of current debates," ILO Working Papers 994709343402676, International Labour Organization.
    24. repec:wsi:rpbfmp:v:13:y:2010:i:02:n:s0219091510001925 is not listed on IDEAS
    25. Christian Dreger & Yanqun Zhang, 2011. "The Chinese Impact on GDP Growth and Inflation in the Industrial Countries," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1151, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Exchange rate flexibility Capital account liberalization Growth model Macroeconomic policies Financial sector reforms;

    JEL classification:

    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development


    Access and download statistics


    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:eee:chieco:v:20:y:2009:i:1:p:103-123. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    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.