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Productivity And Economic Growth: An Empirical Assessment Of The Contribution Of Fdi To The Chinese Economy


  • Zhaoyong Zhang

    () (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)


We estimate the contribution of FDI to the efficiency and productivity growth in a cross-region regression framework, utilising China¡¯s provincial data from 1984 to 1997. We find a bidirectional causal linkage between FDI and productivity growth across the regions in China, suggesting that changes in FDI intensity Granger-cause changes in productivity, and vice versa. China¡¯s economic growth is found largely due to the rapid expansion of investment in fixed assets. Human capital development becomes increasingly important to the labour productivity growth, and FDI has certain effects on labour productivity but not so strong and significant. Thus, the contribution of FDI to China¡¯s technological progress through technology transfer is still not noticeable, and many regions in China still experience inefficiency. This raised the concern over the issue of how to improve economic efficiency and technology transfer in order to sustain China¡¯s rapid growth in the long run. It also concerns what kinds of development strategy and industrial policy toward FDI that China is to form.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhaoyong Zhang, 2002. "Productivity And Economic Growth: An Empirical Assessment Of The Contribution Of Fdi To The Chinese Economy," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 81-94, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:jed:journl:v:27:y:2002:i:2:p:81-94

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Barry Naughton, 1996. "China's Emergence and Prospects as a Trading Nation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 273-344.
    2. Engle, Robert & Granger, Clive, 2015. "Co-integration and error correction: Representation, estimation, and testing," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 39(3), pages 106-135.
    3. Ronald Findlay, 1978. "Relative Backwardness, Direct Foreign Investment, and the Transfer of Technology: A Simple Dynamic Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 92(1), pages 1-16.
    4. Borensztein, E. & De Gregorio, J. & Lee, J-W., 1998. "How does foreign direct investment affect economic growth?1," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 115-135, June.
    5. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1992. "Rural Reforms and Agricultural Growth in China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 34-51, March.
    6. Granger, Clive W J, 1986. "Developments in the Study of Cointegrated Economic Variables," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 48(3), pages 213-228, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Zhaoyong Zhang & LI Chuan, 2006. "Country-specific factors and the pattern of intra-industry trade in China's manufacturing," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(8), pages 1137-1149.
    2. Li Shu & Aurora A.C. Teixeira, 2010. "The level of human capital in innovative firms located in China. Is foreign capital relevant?," FEP Working Papers 391, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    3. Xu, WeiGuo & Hu, DaiPing & Lei, AiZhong & Shen, HuiZhang, 2008. "FDI chaos and control in China," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 17-28, January.

    More about this item


    China; Growth; Productivity; FDI; Human Capital;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


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