Sustainable Development and the Open-Door Policy in China
Council on Foreign Relations Press, 2000
44 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011 Last revised: 2 Dec 2014
Date Written: 2000
We provide an historical survey of Chinese economic reform, a discussion of the current major problems, and measures of the evolution of inequality in China through time, 1979-1996.We argue that China's most pressing reform needs now are in the social sphere, specifically the creation of an adequate social security system. The paper concludes with maps showing measures of inequality within each province of China for the years 1989 and 1996, and the change over this period. The maps reveal a marked regional pattern of high and sharply rising inequality especially in North and West China, with a milder situation in the South. We suggest that this pattern is consistent with the Kuznets conjecture relating inequality to economic growth; the problem of rising inequality in China is in part the uneven character of growth and development across the country.
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