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Institutional Change and Productivity Growth in China's Manufacturing 1998-2007: the Microeconomics of Creative Restructuring

  • Giovanni Dosi
  • Jiasu Lei
  • Xiaodan Yu

This paper investigates the firm-level dynamics of labour productivity in China's manufacturing sector over the period 1998-2007. Underlying the aggregate evidence of a dramatic growth of labour productivity, one observes a large, even if shrinking, intra-sectoral heterogeneity. A major process of both catching-up and dying-out among the least effcient ones occurs. Furthermore, we explore the effect of the characteristics of firms according to the ownership and governance structure upon the productivity distributions, highlighting the importance of the transformation of domestic firms as drivers of technical learning. In essence the fast catching-up process entails more of a "creative restructuring" of domestic firms rather than sheer "creative destruction" and even less so an MNC-led drive.

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Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2013/07.

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Date of creation: 08 Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2013/07
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  1. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C.J. Krizan, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6803, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Loren Brandt & Xiaodong Zhu, 2010. "Accounting for China's Growth," Working Papers tecipa-394, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Alwyn Young, 2003. "Gold into Base Metals: Productivity Growth in the People's Republic of China during the Reform Period," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(6), pages 1220-1261, December.
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  9. Yingyi Qian, 1996. "Enterprise reform in China: agency problems and political control," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 4(2), pages 427-447, October.
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  13. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi & Chiara Tomasi & Alessandro Zeli, 2010. "Turbulence underneath the big calm? Exploring the micro-evidence behind the flat trend of manufacturing productivity in Italy," LEM Papers Series 2010/03, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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  16. Gary H. Jefferson & Thomas G. Rawski, 1994. "Enterprise Reform in Chinese Industry," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 47-70, Spring.
  17. Groves, Theodore, et al, 1994. "Autonomy and Incentives in Chinese State Enterprises," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 183-209, February.
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  20. repec:sae:niesru:v:155:y::i:1:p:56-80 is not listed on IDEAS
  21. Jefferson, Gary H. & Su, Jian, 2006. "Privatization and restructuring in China: Evidence from shareholding ownership, 1995-2001," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 146-166, March.
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