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Perceiving Truth and Ceasing Doubts: What Can We Learn from 40 Years of China’s Reform and Opening up?
2018-03-09 15:19:00

China & World Economy / 1–22, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2018


Perceiving Truth and Ceasing Doubts: What Can We Learn
from 40 Years of China’s Reform and Opening up?
Fang Cai


Abstract

China’s reform, opening up and resultant economic growth in the past 40 years have led to the accumulation of an immense array of experiences, which economists are obligated to look into, analyze and theorize upon. In fact, the rich literature in this area has positively assessed and documented China’s successful experiences. However, theories that were established in Western countries have been applied as doctrine to judge China’s experiences. By adopting an analytical framework unifying historical logic and theoretical logic, the purpose of this paper is to reveal the unique Chinese experience and its relevance to the general laws of economic development. Based on the experiences of and in reference to research findings about China, this paper chronicles the process of reform, opening up and economic growth, and analyzes the nexus between them. The study demystifies how the incentive mechanism, the factor accumulation and allocation system, market development, and macro policy environment reforms have spurred China’s economic growth, structural changes and the increase in productivity. The changes in development stage are examined and policy implications for further reform are discussed.


Key words: Chinese economy, demographic dividend, reform and opening up
JEL codes: O40, O53, P11