What Have Caused the Disorders in China's Market Economy? A Moral and Cultural Analysis Framework in Comparative Perspectives

21 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2017

See all articles by Jim Huangnan Shen

Jim Huangnan Shen

University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Economics; Center for International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University

Date Written: December 15, 2017

Abstract

Although more than thirty years’ development of market economy in China has led to the rapid growth of China’s economy, meanwhile there are nevertheless a lot of illegal phenomenon related to corporations’ infringement on consumers’ rights in the process of economic development, such as the incidents of ‘poisonous milk powder’ (毒奶粉) and ‘illegal cooking oil’ (地沟油). A series of phenomenon related to the economic transaction agents’ lack of reputation in the market economy in recent years have reflected the existence of serious deep-rooted moral crisis in the Chinese market economy. This paper argues that explaining the phenomenon of market economic disorder solely from the perspective of cultural determinism is not persuasive enough. This paper attempts to break through the established assumptions of existing cultural determinism and provides a more analytical and deeper framework to explain the negative phenomenon of Chinese market economy from the perspective of localization characterizing by the continuity in terms of the philosophical foundation and structural aspects between Maoist era and contemporary China after the opening-up policies in 1978. This theoretical framework includes three dimensions: (1) Macro level transformation of state ideology (2) The microscopic explanation of pendulum effect. (3) The transformation from rural society to modern contracting society. It is found that the lack of moral foundation in China’s market economy is the result of the combination of the elements of these three dimensions. .

Keywords: moral culture; political and legal system; economic transformation

JEL Classification: B25, B52

Suggested Citation

Shen, Jim Huangnan, What Have Caused the Disorders in China's Market Economy? A Moral and Cultural Analysis Framework in Comparative Perspectives (December 15, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3088649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3088649

Jim Huangnan Shen (Contact Author)

University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Economics ( email )

London, WC1E 7HU
United Kingdom

Center for International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University ( email )

One Eliot Street Building
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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