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China–IndiaPathways of Economic and Social Development$
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Delia Davin and Barbara Harriss-White

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265673

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265673.001.0001

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China: Development, Inequality, and Imbalance

China: Development, Inequality, and Imbalance

(p.27) 1 China: Development, Inequality, and Imbalance

Carl Riskin

British Academy

China, like India, presents a case of growth with increasing income inequality. In China this has gone hand in hand with a number of serious structural imbalances. It is clear that China’s problems of growing inequality and of structural imbalance are closely linked. The forces that produced imbalance also enlarged inequality. Both imbalance and inequality are byproducts of a growth model dominated by a combination of surplus labour, on one hand, and government policies that have repressed consumption and hindered employment growth, on the other. While the government has tried without much success to alter this growth model, rebalancethe economy and reduce economic disparities, two recent developments have had a major impact: First, China began to encounter shortages of labour. Second, the stimulus package launched to counter the 2008 recession itself affected the rebalancing objective in complex and conflicting ways.

Keywords:   China, Income, Inequality, Imbalance, Consumption, Saving rate, Surplus labour, Interest rates, Financial repression, Employment, Lewis Model, Poverty

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