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China's Reform Period Economic Growth: Why Angus Maddison Got It Wrong and What That Means

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  • Carsten A. Holz

    (Hong Kong University of Science & Technology)

Abstract

China's economic growth statistics of the late 1990s have repeatedly been questioned. Angus Maddison in a 1998 OECD study goes further in that he revised China's official average annual real growth rate for the first seventeen years of economic reform, 1978 through 1995, downward by 2.39 percentage points per year. His study is the most thorough criticism of Chinese official statistics to date, and the one with the largest impact on the data. By 1995, the revisions imply 150% less output, in 1978 terms, than the official data do. Angus Maddison's revisions were subsequently incorporated into the Penn World Tables; the findings of countless cross-country studies are therefore affected by Angus Maddison's growth estimates for China. This paper examines Angus Maddison's revisions to official data and finds them invalid. Angus Maddison's growth estimates for China in the reform period constitute no alternative to the official data.

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten A. Holz, 2005. "China's Reform Period Economic Growth: Why Angus Maddison Got It Wrong and What That Means," Development and Comp Systems 0504012, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpdc:0504012
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/dev/papers/0504/0504012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jànos Kornai, 2000. "What the Change of System from Socialism to Capitalism Does and Does Not Mean," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 27-42, Winter.
    2. Keidel, Albert, 2001. "China's GDP expenditure accounts," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 355-367.
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    Cited by:

    1. Headey, Derek & Bezemer, Dirk & Hazell, Peter B., 2008. "Agricultural exit problems: Causes and consequences," IFPRI discussion papers 802, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Shiu, Alice & Heshmati, Almas, 2006. "Technical Change and Total Factor Productivity Growth for Chinese Provinces: A Panel Data Analysis," Ratio Working Papers 98, The Ratio Institute.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • P27 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Performance and Prospects
    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access

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