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Growing and Slowing Down Like China

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  • Fabrizio Zilibotti

Abstract

This article is based on the presidential address delivered at the EEA Annual Congress 2016. It discusses China's institutional and economic transformation through the lens of the model of growth and convergence developed in Acemoglu, Aghion, and Zilibotti (JEEA 2006), which emphasizes the dichotomy between investment- and innovation-led growth. The economic reforms introduced in the 1980s and 1990s have enabled the Chinese economy to grow at historically unprecedented rates through fostering investment, reallocation, and technology adoption from abroad. The Chinese stimulus package introduced in 2008 appears to have prolonged the longevity of China's investment-driven growth beyond its optimal point. Over the last decade, China has activated the engine of innovation-led growth. The article discusses the virtues and limits of such ongoing transition, based on research in progress using firm-level data on R&D and productivity growth. Finally, it provides an appraisal of the institutional and policy reforms that are necessary for China to continue on its path of rapid convergence.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2017. "Growing and Slowing Down Like China," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 15(5), pages 943-988.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:jeurec:v:15:y:2017:i:5:p:943-988.
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    3. Beerli, Andreas & Weiss, Franziska J. & Zilibotti, Fabrizio & Zweimüller, Josef, 2020. "Demand forces of technical change evidence from the Chinese manufacturing industry," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    4. Fang, Jing & He, Hui & Li, Nan, 2020. "China's rising IQ (Innovation Quotient) and growth: Firm-level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 147(C).
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    8. Lenz, Fulko, 2020. "Europa im Systemwettbewerb mit China: Trugschlüsse, Schutzinstrumente und offensive Antworten," Argumente zur Marktwirtschaft und Politik 150, Stiftung Marktwirtschaft / The Market Economy Foundation, Berlin.
    9. Roy van der Weide & Ambar Narayan, 2019. "China and the United States: Different economic models but similarly low levels of socioeconomic mobility," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-121, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O25 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Industrial Policy
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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