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China's Great Economic Transformation

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    still best overview

    There are lots of edited volumes and several sole-author volumes on the Chinese economy. But despite the passage of time (year after year of 10% growth) the underlying issues and analytic approach of the authors of the book's 20 chapters remain spot on. While I keep up with the latest, this is still what I use as a text / reference work for my course on China's economy, supplemented by lots of "economics working papers" to bring things up to date. Certainly the numbers for urbanization are now different, but the Chan, Henderson and Tsui chapter is great for analytics and issues. Ditto those for structural transformation (Brandt et al), political economy (Naughton), demography (Wang et al) and fiscal issues (Wong & Bird), to name but a few. While a few chapters are written by non-China-specialists, in general the editors have pulled together the top people in each field.
    The chapters are by intent accessible to general readers; tables and data are aplenty, but these are not narrow technical papers full of regression statistics. Jargon is in general expalined. Models are presented in prose form, not in mathematics; policy issues are highlighted. Each chapter includes an extensive bibliography, but these are not (mere) literature surveys, but essays in which the authors tend to take a stand rather than present on-the-one-hand-on-the-other analysis. Finally, and highly unusual for an edited volume, the chapters even cross-reference each other.
    All of this means that this work has "legs" compared to much of what is available on China. To reiterate, this is a book I've felt free not only to use with undergraduate economics students, but to reuse.

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