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China and India - a Note on the Influence of Hierarchy vs. Polyarchy on Economic Growth

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  • Michael Keren

Abstract

This note tries to apply two versions of Sah and Stiglitz's "The Architecture of Economic Systems: Hierarchies and Polyarchies" model (SandS) to highlight some important differences between the development paths of India, the largest democracy, and China, the largest of the few remaining communist ruled economies. It argues that the original SandS model is applicable to private organisations but not to governments, to which a revised model is applied. It is the reliability of the government's decisions and the ability of the investor to rely on them that the modified SandS model tries to capture. As a communist country, China is as centralized as a huge polity of its size can be. A decision of the central authorities, a contract or promise confirmed by Beijing, can be relied upon. This provides a degree of security to the investor that his contract will be honoured and she will not be dispossessed. In the Indian federation the investor has to assure herself that all authorities involved agree to support her project, because any agency that has any say may be able to derail it. These differences are accounted for by the adjusted Sah and Stiglitz model. These differences affect not only the total quantity of investments but also their composition. Clearly, no claim is made or implied that the models introduced below provide the explanation for the differences in the development paths of these two Asian giants in the past few decades. They merely add a new perspective to the economic systems dimension of the development process.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Keren, 2009. "China and India - a Note on the Influence of Hierarchy vs. Polyarchy on Economic Growth," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 6(2), pages 325-346, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:liu:liucej:v:6:y:2009:i:2:p:325-346
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Xu, Chenggang & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2009. "The evolution of Chinese entrepreneurial firms: Township-village enterprises revisited," IFPRI discussion papers 854, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Baek , Jungho & Koo , Won W., 2009. "A Dynamic Approach to the FDI-Environment Nexus: The Case of China and India," East Asian Economic Review, Korea Institute for International Economic Policy, vol. 13(2), pages 87-106, December.
    3. Weiye Li & Louis Putterman, 2008. "Reforming China's SOEs: An Overview," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 50(3), pages 353-380, September.
    4. Laura Alfaro & Anusha Chari, 2009. "India Transformed? Insights from the Firm Level 1988-2005," NBER Working Papers 15448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Joël Ruet & Xavier Richet, 2008. "The chinese and indian automobile industry in perspective : technology appropriation, catching-up and development," Post-Print hal-00583321, HAL.
    6. Andrea Boltho & Maria Weber, 2009. "Did China follow the East Asian development model?," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 6(2), pages 267-286, December.
    7. Angus Maddison, 2009. "Measuring The Economic Performance Of Transition Economies: Some Lessons From Chinese Experience," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 55(s1), pages 423-441, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Enrico Marelli & Marcello Signorelli, 2011. "China and India: Openness, Trade and Effects on Economic Growth," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 8(1), pages 129-154, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hierarchies vs. polyarchies; Indian development; China's development;

    JEL classification:

    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries
    • L19 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Other
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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