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China's Fiscal System: A Work in Progress


Richard M. Bird


University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management; Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Public Policy

Christine P.W. Wong


University of Washington

October 2005

Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 07-11

Abstract:     
We argue in this paper that unless China begins to tackle more systematically the serious problems that have emerged in the finances of its various levels of sub-national government the problems to which the present unsatisfactory system give rise will over time increasingly distort resource allocation, increase distributional tensions, and slow down the impressive recent growth of the Chinese economy. The evidence available is generally consistent with this pessimistic reading. China's fiscal future thus rests to some extent on reforms to key aspects of its fiscal system especially its intergovernmental finances. Given the scale and scope of China's underlying public finance problems, the 'reactive gradualism' evidenced in recent ad hoc reforms to this or that piece of the fiscal system has, we suggest, run its course.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: China, intergovernmental finance, taxation, budget

JEL Classification: H11, H70, O53, P21

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Date posted: January 15, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Bird, Richard M. and Wong, Christine P.W., China's Fiscal System: A Work in Progress (October 2005). Rotman School of Management Working Paper No. 07-11. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=875416 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.875416

Contact Information

Richard M. Bird (Contact Author)
University of Toronto - Joseph L. Rotman School of Management ( email )
105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6
Canada
905-274-8841 (Phone)
Georgia State University - Andrew Young School of Public Policy
International Studies Program
Atlanta, GA 30303-3083
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.aysps.gsu.edu
Christine P.W. Wong
University of Washington ( email )
NE Colombia Rd.
Seattle, WA 98195
United States
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