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Why China is Likely to Achieve its Growth Objectives


Robert W. Fogel


University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

March 2006

NBER Working Paper No. w12122

Abstract:     
In 2002, the Chinese Communist Party announced a goal of quadrupling per capita income by the year 2020. Starting at income levels of the year 2000, this would require a growth rate of 7.2 percent per annum in per capita income or close to 8.0 percent in GDP. Such unresolved and emerging problems as growing income disparities, increasing pollution, pressures on infrastructure, the inefficiency of state owned enterprises, and political instability are often cited as reasons to doubt the attainability of the CCP%u2019s goal. However, China%u2019s progress in addressing fundamental constraints that might limit rapid economic growth augurs well for the success of its economic goals. Although there are disagreements about economic policy among top leaders, the continued transformation into a market economy and the promotion of increasing local autonomy in economic matters are not in doubt. In education, China has substantially increased the percentage of its workforce receiving a college education, and continuing growth in this investment in human capital could account for a large portion of the desired growth rate. In addition, the value of improvements in the quality of economic output unmeasured by GDP, such as advances in the quality of health care and education, could raise reported growth rates by as much as 60 percent. Finally, the government%u2019s increasing sensitivity to public opinion and issues of inequality and corruption, combined with improving living conditions, have resulted in a level of popular confidence in the government that makes political instability unlikely.

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Date posted: May 15, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Fogel , Robert W., Why China is Likely to Achieve its Growth Objectives (March 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w12122. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=893777

Contact Information

Robert W. Fogel (Contact Author)
University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )
1101 East 58th Street
Center for Population Economics
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-7709 (Phone)
773-702-2901 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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