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The Process of China's Market Transition (1978-1998): The Evolutionary, Historical, and Comparative Perspectives

Yingyi Qian

Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), 2000, vol. 156, issue 1, 151-

Abstract: China's transition to the market followed a different path from those countries in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. This paper tells the story of this transition process. In the first stage (1979-1993), the system was reformed incrementally to improve incentives and increase the scope of the market. In the second stage (from 1994), new institutions supporting the market are being built before old institutions have been destroyed. The paper traces the roots to the Chinese planning system since 1958, which differed significantly from the Soviet model. The successful Chinese path of transition challenges the conventional wisdom but fits Popper's notion of "piecemeal social engineering."

JEL-codes: P2 P5 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2000
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