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Political Conditions for Reform: China vs. Eastern Europe Revisited


  • David Daokui Li
  • Yijiang Wang


The long literature of former socialist systems concludes that any effort to reform the economy without drastic political change is believed to be doomed to fail because tight political control and nonmarket coordination mechanisms are intertwined with each other. Indeed, the history of economic reform in Eastern European countries has confirmed this logic. So far, however the experiences of China and Vietnam seem to have defied this logic. We argue that the puzzle of China or Vietnam can be explained by the ruling party's strong initial and more efficient control, which allow the party to reform the economy without losing political control. (JEL: P20, P26, P51) (c) 2006 by the European Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • David Daokui Li & Yijiang Wang, 2006. "Political Conditions for Reform: China vs. Eastern Europe Revisited," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 342-351, 04-05.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:4:y:2006:i:2-3:p:342-351

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    JEL classification:

    • P20 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - General
    • P26 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Political Economy
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems


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