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On the Gradual-Advance Style of Economic Reform in China


  • Lin Yifu
  • Cai Fang
  • Li Zhou


Economists have generally recommended [either of] two different types of strategies or styles regarding the reform of a centralized planned economyâa controlled economyâinto a market economy. There are all kinds of descriptive terms that may be applied to these two different categories of reform strategies. One optional strategy is [described as] "radical," "drastic," "Big-Bang," "once-and-for-all," and, sometimes, as "shock treatment." Within this category of reform proposals, however, there are also many dissimilar implications. The more popular style of reform is the one that has been recommended in recent years by Western economists to the countries of Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). [In this type of reform], marketization, privatization, and democratization are the goals chosen as necessary aspects of economic reform. In terms of method, this approach advocates the implementation of an epochal reform strategyânot unlike the notion of God's creationâin which heaven and earth and all manner of things are created within a span of seven days. The other [reform] strategy is comparatively "gradualistic" and "evolutionary." At one time, this latter type of reform was rarely recommended, while the former proposal was very popular and considered to possess theoretical perfection and feasibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Lin Yifu & Cai Fang & Li Zhou, 1995. "On the Gradual-Advance Style of Economic Reform in China," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(6), pages 5-39, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:28:y:1995:i:6:p:5-39

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