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China in Light of the Performance of Central and East European Economies

  • Svejnar, Jan

    ()

    (Columbia University)

While China shared many systemic, initial conditions with the transition economies of Central-East Europe (CEE) and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), it had a more agricultural economy and a more stable political-economic system than many CEE and CIS countries. Unlike most of the CEE and CIS economies, China adopted a strategy of gradual economic transformation that maintained the existing system and created new economic activities on top of it. This enabled China to avoid the transformation depression observed in CEE and CIS, and allowed it to generate high rates of economic growth that have now lasted for almost three decades. At the time of this study, the CEE and CIS economies have also completed a decade or more of respectable economic growth, demonstrating that numerous forms of the transition process can generate long term economic growth. In retrospect, the tradeoff for avoiding an initial depression appears to be the willingness to maintain most of the existing economic and political system rather than embarking on a rapid but incomplete economic and political transformation. With a rising economic instability and political pressure, countries such as Poland and the Soviet Union (CIS) had little choice but to proceed relatively fast. Others, such as East Germany and Czechoslovakia, could have retained the centrally planned system, but they abandoned it and communism rapidly for political reasons. Looking forward, the current situation is an optimistic one, with China, CIS and CEE belonging to the fastest growing regions of the world. It will be interesting to see whether all or only some of these models will turn out to be successful in the long run.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2791.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: L. Brandt and T. Rawski (eds), China’s Great Economic Transformation, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2791
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  1. Olivier Blanchard & Michael Kremer, 1997. "Disorganization," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 38, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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  8. Jan Svejnar, 1996. "Pensions in the Former Soviet Bloc: Problems and Solutions," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 14, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  9. Tito Boeri & Katherine Terrell, 2001. "Institutional Determinants of Labor Reallocation in Transition," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 384, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  10. Alan Bevan & Saul Estrin & Mark E. Schaffer, 1999. "Determinants of Enterprise Performance during Transition," CERT Discussion Papers 9903, Centre for Economic Reform and Transformation, Heriot Watt University.
  11. Simon Commander & Andrei Tolstopiatenko & Ruslan Yemtsov, 1999. "Channels of redistribution: Inequality and poverty in the Russian transition," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 7(2), pages 411-447, July.
  12. Basu, Swati & Estrin, Saul & Svejnar, Jan, 2004. "Employment Determination in Enterprises under Communism and in Transition: Evidence from Central Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Garner, Thesia I & Terrell, Katherine, 1998. "A Gini Decomposition Analysis of Inequality in the Czech and Slovak Republics during the Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Jan Hanousek & Randall K. Filer, 2001. "Survey-based Estimates of Biases in Consumer Price Indices During Transition: Evidence from Romania," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp178, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  15. Randall K. Filer & Jan Hanousek, 2001. "Survey-based Estimates of Biases in Consumer Price Indices During," Econometrics 0106001, EconWPA.
  16. Randall K. Filer & Jan Hanousek, 2001. "Output Changes and Inflationary Bias in Transition," Macroeconomics 0012010, EconWPA.
  17. Lubomír Lízal & Jan Svejnar, 2002. "Investment, Credit Rationing, And The Soft Budget Constraint: Evidence From Czech Panel Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 353-370, May.
  18. Shirley, Mary & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "Public versus private ownership : the current state of the debate," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2420, The World Bank.
  19. Stepan Jurajda & Katherine Terrell, 2000. "Optimal Speed of Transition: Micro Evidence from the Czech Republic," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 355, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  20. Dariusz K. Rosati, 1994. "Output decline during transition from plan to market: a reconsideration," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 2(4), pages 419-441, December.
  21. Jeffry M. Netter & William L. Megginson, 2001. "From State to Market: A Survey of Empirical Studies on Privatization," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 321-389, June.
  22. Brada, Josef C. & King, Arthur E. & Kutan, Ali M., 2000. "Inflation bias and productivity shocks in transition economies: The case of the Czech Republic," ZEI Working Papers B 02-2000, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies, University of Bonn.
  23. Lizal, Lubomir & Singer, Miroslav & Svejnar, Jan, 1997. "Enterprise Break-ups and Performance During the Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 1757, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Svejnar, Jan, 1999. "Labor markets in the transitional Central and East European economies," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 42, pages 2809-2857 Elsevier.
  25. Klara Z. Sabirianova, 2000. "The Great Human Capital Reallocation: An Empirical Analysis of Occupational Mobility in Transitional Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 309, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
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