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The Logic of Development: Lessons from China. Feng Xingyuan Professor Of Chinese Academy Of Social Sciences Executive President of Cathay Institute for Public Affairs Vice Director of Unirule Institute of Economics

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the logic of development lessons from china

The Logic of Development: Lessons from China

Feng Xingyuan

Professor Of Chinese Academy Of Social Sciences

Executive President of Cathay Institute for Public Affairs

Vice Director of Unirule Institute of Economics

Research Associate of East-West Center for Business Study and Cultural Science of Frankfurt School of Finance and Management

Email; xingyuanfeng@gmail.com

Jakarta, October 6, 2010

outline

I. Disputes and facts about the “Chinese Miracle”

II. Interpreting the Chinese development

III. Logic of development

Outline
i disputes and facts about the chinese miracle

World Bank, 1993: The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy

  • Paul Krugman, 1994: The Myth of Asia's Miracle
  • Justin Y. F. Lin, 1994: The Chinese Miracle
    • A strategy of comparative advantage

Disputes:

I.Disputes and facts about the “Chinese Miracle”
historical criteria for a miracle

Relatively high, long-term and stabile growth;

  • Some or even large contributions of the technical progress to the growth
  • Rare case, low frequency among countries
Historical Criteria for a “Miracle”
ii interpreting the chinese development

A. Favorable initial conditions

B. Relatively appropriate path of reform

C. Favorable informal institutions and pressure of life

D. Gradualist approach to reform

II.Interpreting the Chinese Development
a favorable initial conditions

Decentralized spatial economic structure

  • Multi-divisional structure of enterprises (M-form in China versus U-form in the Soviet Union
  • Low labor cost:
    • Freest labor market, least regulation except the “hukou” system (selective urban-rural divide)
  • An unfavorable political and socio-economic condition as a favorable condition for a change and reform (crisis in the end of 1970s)
A. Favorable initial conditions
b relatively appropriate path of reform

Gradualist approach to reform due to ideological hindrance and the need of political control by the Party: not the same as “trial and error” approach

  • Least resistance path in the beginning, Pareto improvement
    • Rural household responsibility reform
    • Double track (plan and market track) reform
    • Fiscal decentralization, fiscal contract systems
  • Selective preservation of currency value
    • FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificate) till end 1993
    • Dollar peg first, currency basket with dollar dominance later
    • Budget Law in 1994, forbidding the borrowing by the Ministry of Finance of money from the Central Bank
B. Relatively appropriate path of reform
relatively appropriate path of reform continued

Gradual introduction of property rights

  • Gradual introduction of market competition
  • Unintendedly introduced local government competition Selectively opened market
  • Enforced freedom of contract in competitive market sector
  • Enhanced liability (for the input of own factors of production)
  • Relative consistency and continuity of foreign direct investment policy
Relatively appropriate path of reform (continued)
pattern of reform

In many cases: A pattern of “Spontaneous institutional change first, government recognition later”:

  • Examples:
    • Rural household responsibility system,
    • Emergence of private economy,
    • Informal stock market
    • Dual track system etc.
  • Reforms seemed to be government dominated, but most reforms were initiated by the market actors, and recognized later by the Party and government passively
  • Reversed transmission of pressures from below
Pattern of Reform
china a still problematic but relatively performance oriented competition order

An unintended approximation to the competition order proposed by Eucken and practiced in early social market economy in Germany

China: A still problematic, but relatively performance oriented competition order
constituting principles of a competition order eucken 1952

Monetary stability;

  • private property;
  • open market;
  • freedom of contract,
  • liability, and
  • consistency and continuity of economic policy
Constituting principles of a competition order (Eucken,1952)
c favorable informal institutions and pressure of life

“Little tradition” and pressure for life

  • Mentality of pursuing a better life
  • Tradition and attitude of hard work
  • Tradition of emphasis on education

Orthodox ideology as hindrances

C. Favorable informal institutions and pressure of life
d gradualist approach to reform

Popper/Hayek: trial and error as an approach to the approximation to the truth: Gradualist approach.

  • Change in formal and informal institutions needs time.
  • Ordo-Liberalism (Eucken): There is an interdependence of sub-orders in economy and society
  • Gradualist approach to reform is a double edge sword
    • Advantages for the Party:
      • Avoid political and socio-economic instability
      • Strengthen the political and ideological control
      • Allow institutional competition, learning, imitation and innovations
    • Disadvantages:
      • Government capture and corruption;
      • Reform might be halted or reversed due to political struggles
      • Reform experiments as excuse for avoiding real reforms
D. Gradualist Approach to Reform
slide18

In general, the gradualist approach was correct because interdependency of sub-orders is to be preserved (Eucken).

  • Gradualist approach was often abused by counter-reform forces.
  • The bureaucratic capture and corruption prove that a political reform is needed. It is not an evidence to prove that the economic reform was wrong.
iii logic of development

Economic freedom is to be increased and preserved.

  • Productive forces are to be liberated.
  • A competition order is to be shaped and preserved.
  • There is no “Chinese model”.
  • Constitutional liberty is crucial for a country to attain a significantly high per capita income.
III. Logic of Development