China: What Variety of Capitalism?

17 Pages Posted: 23 Oct 2010 Last revised: 4 Oct 2016

Date Written: October 22, 2010


This paper analyzes China’s political economy through the lens of the varieties of capitalism approach as formulated by Hall and Soskice (2001). It presents the current state of knowledge about China in each of the five spheres of the political economy included in the varieties of capitalism model. It concludes that China in many respects resembles a liberal market economy (LME). In addition to providing an empirical basis for further discussion of the world’s second-largest economy within the varieties of capitalism approach, the analysis raises questions for future research in three areas: the existence of multiple varieties of capitalism within the same national boundary; actual practice versus formal structure; and the nature and extent of social capital.

Note: This paper superseded by "China: Authoritarian Capitalism" (also on SSRN)

Keywords: China, Varieties of Capitalism, Institutions

JEL Classification: P1, P2, O53

Suggested Citation

Witt, Michael A., China: What Variety of Capitalism? (October 22, 2010). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2010/88/EPS, Available at SSRN: or

Michael A. Witt (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

1 Ayer Rajah Avenue
Singapore, 138676


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