Industrial Reform and Macroeconomic Instability in China


Is the battle against inflation in China now over? Can Zhu Rongji, the economic guru turned Chinese premier who has successfully reduced the skyrocketing inflation of the mid-1990s to a near zero level, while yet maintaining high economic growth through the new millennium, relax? These are the key questions raised by China's current economic transition towards a market-based system, and they both revolve around the institutional economics that is the focus of this volume. Dealing specifically with the giant state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Industrial Reform and Macroeconomic Instability in China unravels the intriguing dynamics between industrial deregulation and inflation, in the context of China's continuous search for sustained, stable economic growth without runaway inflation. This book is unique among western studies: it addresses the very core, but to date least reformed sector of the Chinese economy. SOEs have monopolized key industrial supplies, commanded the bulk of national investment, disctated much of the nation's credit and finance, and have been the single most important source of state budget revenue. Continually faced with enormous internal wage pressures, all attempts at marketization and price liberalization are inherently inflationary. Based upon an independently, specifically designed set of questionnaires administered to 300 large and medium-scale state industrial enterprises in six major industrial cities, this book provides an in-depth analysis of the first decade of the reforms of the 1980s. The findings are formulated as pointers for understanding the macroeconomic vicissitudes that occurred after the launching of the campaign to create a 'socialist market economy' in the early 1990s. This book will be of use to China analysts, students, and businessmen who are interested in learning about the progress made, the remaining obstacles that the state-owned enterprises face, and their inevitable impact on China's economic growth and stability.

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Joseph C. H. Chai
  • Gang Fan
  • Y. Y. Kueh
  • Mee-kau Nyaw
  • Hing-lin Chan
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1999


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