Chronicle of a Decline Foretold: Has China Reached the Lewis Turning Point?
China is on the eve of a demographic shift that will have profound consequences on its economic and social landscape. Within a few years the working age population will reach a historical peak, and then begin a precipitous decline. This fact, along with anecdotes of rapidly rising migrant wages and episodic labor shortages, has raised questions about whether China is poised to cross the Lewis Turning Point, a point at which it would move from a vast supply of low-cost workers to a labor shortage economy. Crossing this threshold will have far-reaching implications for both China and the rest of the world. This paper empirically assesses when the transition to a labor shortage economy is likely to occur. Our central result is that on current trends, the Lewis Turning Point will emerge between 2020 and 2025. Alternative scenariosâ€”with higher fertility, greater labor participation rates, financial reform or higher productivityâ€”may peripherally delay or accelerate the onset of the turning point, but demographics will be the dominant force driving the depletion of surplus labor.
|Date of creation:||29 Jan 2013|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (202) 623-7000
Fax: (202) 623-4661
Web page: http://www.imf.org/external/pubind.htm
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/pubs/ord_info.htm|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- John Knight & Deng Quheng & Li Shi, 2010.
"The Puzzle of Migrant Labour Shortage and Rural Labour Surplus in China,"
Economics Series Working Papers
494, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Knight, John & Deng, Quheng & Li, Shi, 2011. "The puzzle of migrant labour shortage and rural labour surplus in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 585-600.
- Rod Tyers & Jane Golley, 2006. "China's Growth to 2030: Demographic Change and the Labour Supply Constraint," PGDA Working Papers 1106, Program on the Global Demography of Aging.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:13/26. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jim Beardow)or (Hassan Zaidi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.