This issue of >i>Chinese Economic Studies>/i> presents three case studies of economic reform. These articles, which are translated from Sheng Hong, ed., >i>Zhongguo zhidu bianqian de anli yanjiu>/i> [Case Studies in Institutional Change in China], reflect both the growing theoretical sophistication of Chinese economists and their attention to detail. These case studies are inspired by institutional economics, particularly the works of Ronald Coase and Douglass North, and by public-choice theory, particularly the work of James Buchanan. The attraction of these theoretical approaches to Chinese economists seems apparent; whereas standard neoclassical economics generally assumes a stable institutional framework, China does not have one, and these theoretical approaches are useful in understanding how and under what conditions institutions develop. At the same time, the efforts of these authors to collect detailed case studies on institutional development reflects a new appreciation of the need to understand China's economy and institutional changes from the ground up. It should also be noted that the material collected in these case studies is highly informative and will prove useful, whether or not the reader accepts the theoretical framework employed by the authors.
Volume (Year): 29 (1996)
Issue (Month): 5 (September)
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