Mary-Françoise Renard: As China faces a decreasing population growth rate, the social cost of its rapid economic growth is currently a major challenge. The first years of reform have been without losers. Now, the costs appear to be quite strong and they reach a wide range of societal aspects.

To approach this question, Knight reminds us of the crucial role of decentralization in China and the strategy of becoming a “developmental state.” The Chinese experience of reforms can be defined as Federalism Chinese style (Montinola, Qian, and Weingast 1996), with three main characteristics:

  • Political centralization and economic decentralization: To solve the principal-agent problem

  • Gradual reforms: To deal with the political opposition and continue patronage

  • Central government management of provincial leaders’ careers: to be sure of the governors’ loyalty

This institutional organization has been the pillar of the reform's implementation.

Considering the interest of the social impact of...

You do not currently have access to this content.