Understanding the Chinese Economies

Understanding the Chinese Economies, 1st Edition

Understanding the Chinese Economies, 1st Edition,Rongxing Guo,ISBN9780123978264


Academic Press




286 X 221

Economic distinctions and variety in China made visible through case studies and empirical techniques, revealing regional, geopolitical, and social-cultural diversity

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Key Features

  • Introduces China’s regional economies, often overlooked in US and European texts within larger contexts of social and geopolitical concerns 
  • Explains the reform process since 1978 in a comprehensive, non-technical, and accessible manner
  • Includes online ancillaries of documents, links, and more, expanding the text and keeping it up-to-date
  • Features case studies in each chapter


China's economic growth has been more robust in some regions than others.  In a country as large as China, examinations of regional differences can provide a viable way to learn about the economy as a whole.  Rongxing Guo provides a systematic introduction to the economies of China by describing their external and internal drivers and by placing them within geopolitical and even socio-cultural boundaries.  His pairings of case studies and empirical techniques reveal a rich, deep appreciation of the growth process and of interactions between key factors. This book delves more deeply into issues surrounding the economy than other books, offering a unique and important perspective that many will find useful.  Covering history and administrative structures, unique economic features, some domestic economic issues, and international economic engagement, it describes an often inaccessible perspective with nuances all students of China will find valuable


For second courses on the Chinese enconomy.  Upper-division undergraduates and graduate students studying international trade, macroeconomics, and development economics.  

Rongxing Guo

Rongxing Guo is Professor and Head of the Regional Economics Committee, Regional Science Association of China (RSAC), Peking University, Beijing. He has served with the OECD in Paris and at the Brookings Institute in Washington, DC. He has taught at the Australian National University, the China University of Mining and Technology, and Korea University, and Gakushuin University in Tokyo. He has an Amazon author's page.

Affiliations and Expertise

Regional Science Association of China (RSAC), Peking University, Beijing

View additional works by Rongxing Guo

Understanding the Chinese Economies, 1st Edition

1 A Brief History of China

1.1 The origins of the nation

1.2 Rise and fall of the empire

1.3 China in the new millennium

1.4 Summary

Case study 1: Why the Yellow river is important

Suggested reading

2 Spatial and Administrative Divisions

2.1 Administrative divisions

2.2 Great regions

2.3 Geographical belts

2.4 Southern and Northern parts

2.5 Ethno-cultural areas

2.6 Summary

Case study 2: Who owns Lake Weishan?

Suggested reading

3 The Foundation of the Chinese Economy (I)

3.1 Background

3.2 Natural resources

33 Energy production and consumption

3.4 Environmental situation

3.5 Chinese environmental policy

3.6 Summary

Case study 3: Should Chinese legislation be revised?

Suggested reading

4 The Foundation of the Chinese Economy (II)

4.1 Population

4.2 Labor force

4.3 Education

4.4 Cultural diversity

4.5 Summary

Case study 4: Age, gender, education and earnings

Suggested reading

5 Political Economic Systems in Transition

5.1 Party versus state

5.2 Plan and market

5.3 Employment

5.4 Production and ownership

5.5 Public finance

5.6 Banking

5.7 External relations

5.8 Summary

Case study 5: System dynamics - a feedback model

Suggested reading

6 Understanding Chinese Economic Reform

6.1 A brief narrative

6.2 Interest groups and stakeholders

6.3 Radical reform: the (un)successful cases

6.4 Gradual/partial reform: the (un)successful cases

6.5 Whither Chinese-style reform?

6.6 Summary

Case study 6: How radicals and conservatives collude?

Suggested reading

7 Economic Growth and Regional Differences

7.1 About the statistical data

7.2 Macroeconomic performance

7.3 Factors contributing to China’s growth

7.4 Regional economic disparity

7.5 Poverty and social security

7.6 Summary

Case study 7: Similar initial conditions, varied results

Suggested reading

8 Income Distribution and Social Justice

8.0 Study goals

8.1 China’s growth performance

8.2 Real living standards

8.3 Measuring income inequality

8.4 Inequality: causes and consequences

8.5 Poverty and social security

8.6 Summary

Case study 8: A tale of two companies in transition

Suggested reading

9 Spatial Economics and Development Strategy

9.1 Comparative advantage index

9.2 Spatial economic separation

9.3 China’s search for spatial integration

9.4 Regional development strategy

9.5 Summary

Case study 9: Fighting for rainfalls?

Suggested reading

10 Industrialization and Technological Progress

10.1 China’s efforts on industrialization

10.2 Post-reform industrialization

10.3 A comparative analysis

10.4 Technological progress

10.5 Summary

Case study 10: Technological and economic leapfrogging

Suggested reading

11 International Economic Engagement

11.1 Historical review

11.2 Foreign direct investment

11.3 Foreign trade

11.4 A quantitative analysis

11.5 Summary

Case study 11: Cultural influences on foreign trade

Suggested reading

12 The Greater China Area: Retrospect and Prospect

12.1 Historical evolution

12.2 Social and economic differences

12.3 Complementary conditions

12.4 Cross-Strait economic relations

12.5 Future perspective

Case study 12: Overseas Chinese economics

Suggested reading

Quotes and reviews

"Guo’s book combines the broad brush strokes of an introductory text with rich detail on the complexities of modern China.  The book is a comprehensive guide to the changes that have transformed the Chinese economy during the reform era."

--Eric Thun, University of Oxford


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