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China’S Economic Growth, 1978-2005: Structural Change And Institutional Attributes


  • Dic LO

    () (Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK)

  • LI Guicai

    (School of Economics, Renmin University of China, China)


China’s sustained rapid economic growth over the era of its systemic reform is of general importance for late development under globalization. This paper seeks to construct an explanation of the experience, which centers around the notion of an evolving “regime of accumulation†, or development path, that emboddies an uneasy mix of the attributes of allocative and productive efficiency. In this light, the analytical findings of the paper give rise to two main propositions. First, in contrast to the general direction of market reform in the institutional dimension, China’s actual path of industrialization and economic growth has rather tended to contradict the principle of comparative advantage – it has been in the direction of capital deepening, especially since the early 1990s. Second, China’s reformed economic institutions have encompassed both market-conforming and market-supplanting elements, represented by non-state-owned enterprises and state-owned enterprises, respectively, with the former accounting for the improvement in allocative efficiency while the latter accounting for the improvement in productive efficiency. The paper concludes with a discussion on the social implications of the findings and propositions.

Suggested Citation

  • Dic LO & LI Guicai, 2006. "China’S Economic Growth, 1978-2005: Structural Change And Institutional Attributes," Working Papers 150, Department of Economics, SOAS, University of London, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:150

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    1. Djankov, Simeon & Glaeser, Edward & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2003. "The new comparative economics," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 595-619, December.
    2. Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 18, pages 315-341 Edward Elgar Publishing.
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