Fiscal Federalism and Economic Reform in China
Because of history, size and economic potential China is a force to reckon with: 9.6 million square kilometers populated by 1.26 billion people. China has a varied geography. Moving from west to east, Figure 1, we start with the vast dry areas in the west, move to the mountains, valleys and higher altitudes of the center, and end up in the more temperate coastal regions which have more rain, lower altitudes, easier communication and transportation. A main theme of this paper is that in great part due to geography, but also due to overt government policies, wealth and economic well-being tend to increase monotonically from west to east. That reality conditions significantly the past, present, and future of fiscal federalism in China.
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