Economic Growth and Distribution in China

In This Review

Economic Growth and Distribution in China

By Nicholas R. Lardy
Cambridge University Press, 1978
244 pp. $18.95

A solid study of resource allocation and income distribution in China which concludes that China has achieved both a rapid rate of growth and a relatively equitable distribution of income. But the author's most reliable data refer to the 1950s and 1960s. During the past decade, as he himself suggests, the Chinese growth model may have run into difficulties. Mao's "pro-peasant" policies were highly divisive, and brought about sharp declines in industrial output and strikes and work stoppages, some of which required army intervention to put down. This widespread worker unrest, combined with lagging technological progress, may help explain the switch to a new development strategy by the new leadership. Lardy's book, depicting the old development strategy as a success, does not.

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