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Guest Editor's Introduction


  • James Tong


This issue of >i>The Chinese Economy>/i> documents the history of China's tortuous search for fiscal regimes from 1971 to 1998. The frequent regime changes and their short longevity, many lasting only one to two years, indicate the instability of China's fiscal management system in this period. They underscore the complexity of China's fiscal problems, the difficulty in trade-offs among fiscal capacity, macroeconomic stabilization, and interregional equality. They illustrate why some fiscal regimes were chosen over othersâhow perceived strength in the institutional design gave way to unintended policy consequences, and led to their successive demise. They detail the contractual arrangements between the center and the provinces, the many ways they agreed to slice the budgetary pie, and the numerous changes in their respective revenue sources and spending responsibilities. Together, they constitute the documentary history of China's fiscal system in the past three decades.

Suggested Citation

  • James Tong, 1998. "Guest Editor's Introduction," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 5-21, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:mes:chinec:v:31:y:1998:i:3:p:5-21

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