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Private Sector Industrialization in China: Evidence from Wenzhou


  • John Strauss
  • Edward Y. Qian
  • Minggao Shen
  • Dong Liu
  • Mehdi Majbouri
  • Qi Sun
  • Qianfan Ying
  • Yi Zhu


The purpose of this study to help shed light on the entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs and enterprise growth in Wenzhou. The study is done by relying on a probabilistic firm survey that we carried out in Wenzhou in early 2006 for three industries: shoes, eyeglasses and general equipment. Not a field-based formal survey, but also informal questions which helps us to enrich the story. The survey was focused on getting detailed firm histories to learn about how the firms started and grew. The study was done by focusing on the origins of the firms, including prior firms that may have been antecedents. Information was collected on whom the founders were, how many, their relationships with each other, and their background in terms of experience and other human capital. Detailed information was collected on how they financed their start, and how they financed their expansion. Detailed information on the sources of technology into the firms, particularly whether it was Chinese or imported and whether the firms were getting technical instructions from foreign firms they may have been exporting to. Detailed information on markets, especially how markets and how export markets were found. Information was also collected about explicit assistance that came from governments, local and/or central. Workers at each firm: managers, skilled workers such as designers, and production workers were interviewed.

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  • John Strauss & Edward Y. Qian & Minggao Shen & Dong Liu & Mehdi Majbouri & Qi Sun & Qianfan Ying & Yi Zhu, 2010. "Private Sector Industrialization in China: Evidence from Wenzhou," Working Papers id:2468, eSocialSciences.
  • Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2468
    Note: Institutional Papers

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Godo, Yoshihisa & Hayami, Yujiro, 2002. "Catching Up in Education in the Economic Catch-Up of Japan with the United States, 1890-1990," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(4), pages 961-978, July.
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    6. Liedholm, Carl & Mead, Donald C., 1987. "Small Scale Industries in Developing Countries: Empirical Evidence and Policy Implications," Food Security International Development Papers 54062, Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics.
    7. Sonobe, Tetsushi & Kawakami, Momoko & Otsuka, Keijiro, 2003. "Changing Roles of Innovation and Imitation in Industrial Development: The Case of the Machine Tool Industry in Taiwan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(1), pages 103-128, October.
    8. Keijiro Otsuka, 2006. "Cluster-Based Industrial Development: A View From East Asia," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 57(3), pages 361-376.
    9. Pack, Howard & Westphal, Larry E., 1986. "Industrial strategy and technological change : Theory versus reality," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-128, June.
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    1. repec:spr:scient:v:95:y:2013:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-012-0802-x is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    industrialization; workers; technology; firms; local resources; pro-capitalist; infrastructure; industrialization; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurs; growth; Wenzhou; china; firm survey; survey; china;

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