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Private and Public Construction in Modern China


Gregory M. Stein


University of Tennessee College of Law

March 1, 2010

San Diego International Law Journal, Vol. 12, p. 5, 2010
University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 100

Abstract:     
During the past three decades, real estate development in China has proceeded at an astonishing pace, with much development occurring before China’s 2007 adoption of its first modern law of property. Investors thus spent hundreds of billions of dollars in the real estate market of a nation that, during most of this period, had no formal property law. How can a huge nation modernize so rapidly and dramatically when its legal system furnishes such uncertainty? And how can this happen in a nation that still purports to subscribe to socialist ideology?

I set out to answer these questions by interviewing dozens of Chinese and Western real estate developers, bankers, government officials, lawyers, judges, economists, brokers, professors, and consultants. My goal was to learn how real estate development was actually proceeding on the ground and how these actors functioned in a world of significant legal ambiguity. Given the rapid evolution of China’s modern real estate market, a complete understanding of this market requires more than just a thorough knowledge of published statutes and cases.

My earlier field research examined the Chinese land use right - which serves as a surrogate for property ownership in a nation in which private citizens may not own land - and then focused on real estate finance. This Article continues the analysis of how China’s real estate market functions by turning to public and private construction in China. It examines the commercial construction process, the sale of residential units, and the construction of infrastructure in China.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

Keywords: Property, Land Use, Real Estate Finance, Chinese Property Law

JEL Classification: K11, O17, O18, P21, P31, P32

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Date posted: March 1, 2010 ; Last revised: January 19, 2011

Suggested Citation

Stein, Gregory M., Private and Public Construction in Modern China (March 1, 2010). San Diego International Law Journal, Vol. 12, p. 5, 2010; University of Tennessee Legal Studies Research Paper No. 100 . Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1561834

Contact Information

Gregory M. Stein (Contact Author)
University of Tennessee College of Law ( email )
1505 West Cumberland Avenue
Knoxville, TN 37996
United States
HOME PAGE: http://law.utk.edu/people/gregory-m-stein/

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