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Understanding the Chinese Economies - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123978264, 9780123978288

Understanding the Chinese Economies

1st Edition

Author: Rongxing Guo
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123978264
eBook ISBN: 9780123978288
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 29th August 2012
Page Count: 310
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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

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
  • Features case studies in each chapter


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

Table of Contents


List of Boxes

List of Case Studies

List of Figures

List of Tables

Contents of the Companion

List of Abbreviations




Chapter 1. A Brief History of China

1.1 The Origins of the Nation

1.2 The Rise and Fall of the Empire

1.3 China in the New Millennium


Chapter 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


Chapter 3. Human and Cultural Contexts

3.1 Population

3.2 Labor Force

3.3 Education

3.4 Cultural Diversity

3.5 Summary


Chapter 4. Natural and Environmental Resources

4.1 Natural Resources

4.2 Energy Production

4.3 Environmental Quality

4.4 Chinese Environmental Policy

4.5 Policy Implications


Chapter 5. Political and Administrative Systems

5.1 Party Versus State

5.2 Government and Administrative Systems

5.3 Legal System

5.4 (Dis)advantages of China’s Political System

5.5 Further Implications


Chapter 6. Economic Systems in Transition

6.1 Economic Transition, Chinese Style

6.2 Getting Out of Plan

6.3 Labor and Employment

6.4 Production Ownership

6.5 Public Finance

6.6 Banking System

6.7 Summary


Chapter 7. Understanding Chinese Economic Reform

7.1 Radical Reform: The Successful Cases

7.2 Radical Reform: The Unsuccessful Cases

7.3 Gradual/Partial Reform: The Successful Cases

7.4 Gradual/Partial Reform: The Unsuccessful Cases

7.5 Whither Chinese-Style Reform?

7.6 Summary


Chapter 8. Economic Growth and Income (Re)distribution

8.1 Macroeconomic Performance

8.2 Understanding Economic Growth

8.3 Income Distribution and Inequality

8.4 Income Redistribution and Social Security

8.5 Summary



Chapter 9. A Multiregional Economic Comparison

9.1 China’s Statistical Systems

9.2 Macroeconomic Performance

9.3 Real Living Standards

9.4 Regional Economic Disparity

9.5 Summary



Chapter 10. Regional Diseconomies and Development Strategy

10.1 Spatial Comparative Advantages

10.2 Spatial Economic Separation

10.3 Spatial Diseconomies and China

10.4 Regional Development Strategies

10.5 Summary


Chapter 11. Industrialization and Technological Progress

11.1 Industrialization During the Pre-Reform Era

11.2 Industrialization During the Reform Era

11.3 Technological Progress

11.4 Intellectual Property Rights



Chapter 12. International Economic Engagement

12.1 Historical Review

12.2 Toward an Open Economy

12.3 Foreign Trade

12.4 Understanding China’s Trade Performance

12.5 Summary



Chapter 13. Inward and Outward Direct Investments

13.1 Some Basic Concepts

13.2 Inflow of Foreign Direct Investment

13.3 Outward Direct Investment



Chapter 14. Doing Business in China

14.1 Starting a Business

14.2 Ease of Doing Business Across China

14.3 Understanding China’s Business Culture

14.4 Managing Cultural Differences



Chapter 15. Understanding the Chinese-Speaking Economies

15.1 The Greater China Area

15.2 A Multiregional Economic Comparison

15.3 Cross-Strait Economic Relations

15.4 Overseas Chinese Economics






1. PowerPoint slides (Introduction and 15 chapters).

2. Case studies (including five in-depth research papers).

3. Suggested reading.

To download a free copy of these materials, please visit the companion site at:


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2013
29th August 2012
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Rongxing Guo

Rongxing Guo is Professor (Homepage:; ORCID: 0000-0002-5368-793X), Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing, China. He has led research projects for the OECD and the World Bank, and undertaken consultation for the Chinese government. An expert who is among the very few scholars to publish in six major disciplines of economics, geography, political science, management science, archaeology, and anthropology, Rongxing Guo has more than 30 years of experience teaching and researching in China, as well as in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Germany and the US. During the past 20 years or so, he has published more than 30 monographs and many valuable articles. His most recent research works are “Explaining the Human and Cultural Puzzles: A New Development Theory” – whose full text is available at -- and “Managing the Unruly Waters: An Imperative for Safety and Resilience along the Yellow River” (draft).

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Capital University of Economics and Business, China


"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

Ratings and Reviews