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China's transition to markets: market-preserving federalism, chinese style

  • Yingyi Qian
  • Barry R. Weingast

This paper studies the relationship between decentralization and the success of reform in China. We argue that a particular form of decentralization—called market-preserving federalism Chinese style—provides the critical foundations for market success. China's form of decentralization has served the critical purpose of creating markets at a time when political resistance to economic reform remained strong and when the durability of the reforms was important. Nonetheless, federalism, Chinese style, lacks some national public goods, and the new system needs to be institutionalized. We also highlight some parallels between the United States under the Articles of Confederation (1781-1787) and those of modern China.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Journal of Economic Policy Reform.

Volume (Year): 1 (1996)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 149-185

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jpolrf:v:1:y:1996:i:2:p:149-185
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