Understanding the Chinese Economies book cover

Understanding the Chinese Economies

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.  

Hardbound, 310 Pages

Published: August 2012

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-397826-4


  • "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


  • 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


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