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Can the augmented Solow model explain China's remarkable economic growth? A cross-country panel data analysis

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  • Ding, Sai
  • Knight, John

Abstract

China's economy grew at an average annual rate of 9% over the last three decades. Despite the vast empirical literature on testing the neoclassical model of economic growth using data on various groups of countries, very few cross-country regressions include China and none of them particularly focuses on the explanation of China's remarkable economic growth. We attempt to fill this gap by utilising panel data on 146 countries over the period 1980-2004 to examine the extent to which the rapid growth of China and the huge gap in the growth rate between China and other countries can be explained by the augmented Solow model. Using system GMM estimation techniques, we find that, in spite of the restrictive assumptions involved, the Solow model augmented by both human capital and structural change provides a fairly good account of international variation in economic growth. In particular, China's relative success in economic growth is due to high physical capital investment, conditional convergence gain, dramatic changes in the structure of employment and output, and low population growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Ding, Sai & Knight, John, 2009. "Can the augmented Solow model explain China's remarkable economic growth? A cross-country panel data analysis," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 432-452, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:37:y:2009:i:3:p:432-452
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