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An Empirical Analysis of Provincial Productivity in China (1979-2001)


  • Zheng, Jinghai

    () (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Hu, Angang

    () (Center for China Studies, School of Public Policy and Management,)


This study analyzes provincial productivity growth in China for the period of 1979-2001. The Malmquist Index approach allows us to decompose productivity growth into two components, technical progress and efficiency change. Considerable productivity growth was found for most of the data period, but it was accomplished mainly through technical progress rather than efficiency improvement. Although China’s capital stock has been accumulated at the speed of a historical record in recent years, our findings show that TFP growth slowed significantly during 1995-2001. The study thus raises serious questions on whether China’s recent growth pattern is consistent with its comparative advantages, and whether its reliance on capital accumulation can be sustained in the long run.

Suggested Citation

  • Zheng, Jinghai & Hu, Angang, 2004. "An Empirical Analysis of Provincial Productivity in China (1979-2001)," Working Papers in Economics 127, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics, revised 22 Mar 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:gunwpe:0127

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Wing Thye Woo, 2000. "Understanding china's economic performance," Journal of Economic Policy Reform, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1-50.
    2. Yanrui Wu, 2003. "Has Productivity Contributed to China's Growth?," Pacific Economic Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(1), pages 15-30, January.
    3. Mao, Weining & Koo, Won W., 1997. "Productivity growth, technological progress, and efficiency change in chinese agriculture after rural economic reforms: A DEA approach," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 157-174.
    4. Wu, Yanrui, 2000. "Is China's economic growth sustainable? A productivity analysis," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 278-296.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ping HUA, 2005. "Real exchange rate and employment in the manufacturing sector in China," Working Papers 200528, CERDI.

    More about this item


    Productivity; capital deepening; China;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East

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