Books on the Chinese economy
Chinability, access on March 2010
China's Unfinished Economic Revolution
by Nicholas Lardy
(Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1998)
Nicholas Lardy's book concentrates on financial reform and the development of a modern banking sector in China, but his summary of the problems of economic reform in general, and the reform of the grossly inefficient and indebted state-owned enterprises, is masterful and clear. Disagreeing with Naughton, who argues that economic reform will result from the natural growth of the non-state sector (see Growing out of the Plan, below), Lardy insists that unless the current reform programme is speedily and thoroughly implemented, there is a serious danger of financial collapse.
Forging Reform in China: The Fate of State-Owned Industry
by Edward S. Steinfeld
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998)
The first part of Edward Steinfeld's book is a clear statement of the many problems facing state-owned industry in China and the ways in which they need to be reformed. Steinfeld opposes both those who see privatisation as the only way to restructure state-owned enterprises and also those who propose to avoid the pain of restructuring by relying on rapid economic growth. The second part of the book consists of microstudies of three major iron and steel companies that exemplify the challenges facing state-owned industry.
Growing out of the Plan: Chinese Economic Reform 1978-1993
by Barry Naughton
(New York: Cambridge University Press, 1995)
Although some of the main conclusions in the final chapter (in particular, the feasibility of a gradualist economic reform strategy), are dubious in the light of more recent experience (see China's Unfinished Economic Revolution, above), Barry Naughton's major study of the first fifteen years of economic reform in China remains essential background reading. Starting with a description of the pre-reform Stalinist command economy, he then provides a detailed itinerary of the progress of economic reform, with its distinct stages and its zigzags, from the onset of Deng Xiaoping's reversal of Maoism in 1978 to the post-Beijing Massacre revival of economic reform in late 1993.
China's Environmental Crisis: An Inquiry into the Limits of National Development
by Vaclav Smil
(New York: East Gate, 1993)
China's development is imperilled by environmental degradation and the reckless waste of natural resources. Smil's second book on this subject examines the cost in terms of damage to the environment of the country's rapid industrialisation, concentrating mainly on the implications of the huge increase in energy required for the process and on the problem of food security. The dismal prospect he sketches is one of continuing environmental deterioration in the first decade of this century, regardless of any action taken to prevent that happening, but Smil does suggest long-term actions which could prevent an even greater catastrophe in later years.
Who Will Feed China: Wake-Up Call for a Small Planet
by Lester Brown
(New York: Norton, 1995; World Watch Institute)
Despite the one-child policy, China's population continues to grow. Meanwhile, rapid urbanisation threatens a reduction in the country's cropland. Brown points out that a massive switch from the traditional Maoist policy of self-sufficiency in grain to a strategy involving large-scale food imports would tip the balance in world food markets. This short study raises more questions than it answers, but, as the title says, its function is to wake us up to the problem, and it certainly does just that.
Hungry Ghosts: Mao's Secret Famine
by Jasper Becker
(New York: Henry Holt, 1996)
The food problem is not a new one in China, which used to be known as the "land of famine". Nor did the problem disappear with the communist victory in 1949, as has too often been claimed. While tens of millions of people were starving to death in the Great Leap Famine of 1959-61, China's communist leaders strived to hide what was undoubtedly the worst famine in the country's long history. They succeeded only too well. In this book, Jasper Becker reveals the scale of the famine and its attendant horrors, including, in some of the hardest-hit regions, a reversion to cannibalism. Becker suggests that both the so-called Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution and the subsequent turn towards economic reform can be explained as reactions to the Famine.
Taxation in Modern China
edited by Donald J.S. Brean
(New York: Routledge, 1998)
The gradual dismantling of the central planning apparatus over the past two decades has meant that government revenue has declined as a proportion of GDP. Yet it is the government that will have to pay the bill for the reform of the state-owned enterprises as it takes over their debts, their unfunded pension liabilities and their responsibility for meeting the housing, education and health needs of their workers. The state will also eventually have to bail out the banking system. So reforming government finances, especially the tax system, is an essential component of the reform programme. This collection of essays starts with a broad view of this situation, then homes in on specifics, such as the relationship between local and central government tax systems. It also includes a useful review of accounting in China.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
322) Books on China's Economy - Chinability
Posted by Paulo Roberto de Almeida at 3/09/2010 07:18:00 PM
Labels: Books on economy, China
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Post a Comment
Comments are useful, provided that they refer exactly to the subject of the post, and present some relevant argument.
Comentários são bem-vindos, desde que relativos ao tema do post e apresentando argumentos substantivos.