Chapter

Why Are the Elite in China Motivated and Able to Promote Growth?

Xiaowei Zang

in The Role of Elites in Economic Development

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199659036
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191749032 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659036.003.0010

Series: WIDER Studies in Development Economics

Why Are the Elite in China Motivated and Able to Promote Growth?

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Rapid economic development in China in the post-1978 era has been considered ‘intriguing’ and ‘puzzling’ since it occurred under the dominance of the Communist party: the fusion of politics and economics is supposed to be a powerful impediment to market growth. Scholars have proposed different accounts to explain this paradox, with particular emphasis on the role of the political elite in economic progress. This chapter contributes to this literature by studying why the political elite are motivated to promote economic development in China. It studies the historical development of China’s developmental elites to understand their motivations for economic growth. To better understand whether or not elites in developing countries promote economic growth, scholars should focus on factors such as historical experience, political stability, leadership turnover, or elite perceptions about the impact of growth on their hold on power, rather than the differences between autocracy and democracy.

Keywords: China; democracy; autocracy; development; growth; elites

Chapter.  7211 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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