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An Essay on Economic Reforms and Social Change in China

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Abstract

This paper applies a systems-oriented, “holistic” approach to China’s radical economic reforms during the last quarter of a century. It characterizes China’s economic reforms in terms of a multidimensional classification of economic systems. When looking at the economic consequences of China’s change of economic system, I deal with both the impressive growth performance and its economic costs. I also study the consequences of the economic reforms for the previous social arrangements in the country, which were tied to individual work units: agriculture communes, collective firms and state-owned enterprises. I continue with the social development during the reform period, reflecting a complex mix of social advances, mainly in terms of poverty reduction, and regress for large population groups in terms of income security and human services, such as education and, in particular, health care. Next, I discuss Chinas future policy options in the social field, whereby I draw heavily on relevant experiences in developed countries over the years. The future options are classified into three broad categories: policies influencing the level and distribution of factor income, income transfers including social insurance, and the provision of human services.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindbeck, Assar, 2006. "An Essay on Economic Reforms and Social Change in China," Working Paper Series 681, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0681
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    Cited by:

    1. Noha Farrag & Hebatallah Ghoneim, 2016. "Challenges to the Development of an Islamic Economic System," Working Papers 42, The German University in Cairo, Faculty of Management Technology.
    2. Horst Siebert, 2007. "China: Coming to Grips with the New Global Player," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(6), pages 893-922, June.
    3. Lindbeck, Assar, 2006. "Economic-Social Interaction during China’s Transition," Working Paper Series 680, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; Transition Economies; Social Insurance; Human Services;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • P30 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - General

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