China: Creating a Legal System for a Market Economy
Donald C. Clarke
George Washington University Law School
Asian Development Bank, 2007
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 396
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 396
Since the early 1990s, China has come a long way in legislating the foundational rules for its reformed economy. Virtually all of the important areas-contracts, business organizations, securities, bankruptcy, and secured transactions, to name a few - are now covered by national legislation as well as lower-level regulations. Yet an important feature of a legal structure suited to a market economy is missing: the ability of the system to generate from below solutions to problems not adequately dealt with by existing legislation. The top-down model that has dominated Chinese law reform efforts to date can only do so much. What is needed now is a more welcoming attitude to market-generated solutions to the gaps and other problems that will invariably exist in legislation. The state's distrust of civil-society institutions and other bottom-up initiatives suggests, however, that this different approach will not come easily.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: China, transition economies, economic regulation, economic reform
JEL Classification: G38, K11, K12, K20, K40, L50, N25, N45, O53, P20Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 26, 2008
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