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The Process of China's Market Transition (1978-1998): The Evolutionary, Historical, and Comparative Perspectives


  • Yingyi Qian


China's transition to the market followed a different path from those countries in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. This paper tells the story of this transition process. In the first stage (1979-1993), the system was reformed incrementally to improve incentives and increase the scope of the market. In the second stage (from 1994), new institutions supporting the market are being built before old institutions have been destroyed. The paper traces the roots to the Chinese planning system since 1958, which differed significantly from the Soviet model. The successful Chinese path of transition challenges the conventional wisdom but fits Popper's notion of "piecemeal social engineering."

Suggested Citation

  • Yingyi Qian, 2000. "The Process of China's Market Transition (1978-1998): The Evolutionary, Historical, and Comparative Perspectives," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 156(1), pages 151-151, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200003)156:1_151:tpocmt_2.0.tx_2-l

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Yoshihiro Tomaru & Kazuharu Kiyono, 2010. "Endogenous Timing in Mixed Duopoly with Increasing Marginal Costs," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 166(4), pages 591-613, December.
    9. Lepore, Jason J., 2012. "Cournot outcomes under Bertrand–Edgeworth competition with demand uncertainty," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 177-186.
    10. Simon Loertscher, 2005. "Market making oligopoly," Diskussionsschriften dp0512, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    11. Richard G. Harris & Elmer G. Wiens, 1980. "Government Enterprise: An Instrument for the Internal Regulation of Industry," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 125-132, February.
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    JEL classification:

    • P2 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems


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