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2 - China and Development Economics

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 May 2010

Loren Brandt
Affiliation:
University of Toronto
Thomas G. Rawski
Affiliation:
University of Pittsburgh
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Summary

We view development economics as a set of empirical generalizations, paradigms, and tools that tell us something about why large differences in productivity and income within and among countries, social groups, and classes seem to persist. How does China fit into the received views of development economics? In answering this question the cup overfloweth with materials, so no attempt is made to be exhaustive. We begin in Part A by using comparative statistics of developing and developed countries to help understand China's present position and its growth experience since 1978. Ensuing sections take up selected topics where development economics and China's development experience intersect. Part B looks at governance issues in a comparative framework, focusing on corruption as a phenomenon that brings together many features of administration that are common across countries. Part C examines the rural sector, focusing on agricultural productivity and land tenure, and Part D reviews the uniquely East Asian phenomenon of rural industrialization. Part E concludes.

CHINA'S COMPARATIVE ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE: A QUANTITATIVE LOOK

How do China's economic performance and structure compare to those of other developing countries? In this section we situate China within the developing world, using comparative measures that are in some cases straightforward and in others somewhat controversial. Jan Svejnar's contribution (see Chapter 3) to this volume contains tables allowing similar comparisons with the transition economies. Variables examined include demographic, environmental, and energy indicators, economic data from national income and product accounts, Gini coefficients and related distributional measures, and selected human capital information.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2008

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