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Rural development in China: Industry policy, regionalism, integration and scale

  • Colin G. Brown
  • Scott A. Waldron
  • John W. Longworth
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    Purpose – The Chinese government has increasingly turned to industry policy as a means of promoting rural development. These industry policies have not necessarily led to an improvement in rural incomes nor to the achievement of other social and environmental goals. This paper examines ways of designing these policies to achieve better rural development outcomes. Design/methodology/approach – The approach adopts a detailed micro-level analysis of industry policy through the window of the cattle and beef industries. Intensive fieldwork and interviews are conducted with all segments of and participants in the industry in all major beef production and consumption regions. A series of normative analyses examines issues of integration, scale of development, regionalism and specialisation. Findings – Industry policy is a powerful mechanism by which to influence regional and rural development. Improving development outcomes requires that central and local government goals converge and that regions in inland China are well integrated with other regions and sectors of the economy. Large-scale development projects must be carefully designed to avoid displacing individual households from industry development. Originality/value – By crossing institutional, geographic and industry segment lines in a comprehensive manner, the research will aid Chinese decision makers concerned with rural development in the design of their industry development policies.

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    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Social Economics.

    Volume (Year): 32 (2005)
    Issue (Month): 1/2 (January)
    Pages: 17-33

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:ijsepp:v:32:y:2005:i:1/2:p:17-33
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