Institution(s): HK Institute for the Humanities & Social Sciences, HK Institute of Economics and Business Strategy

Date: May 27, 2010 (Thursday)

Time: 05:30 pm - 07:00 pm

Venue: Room 602, Meng Wah Complex, The University of Hong Kong


China's unusal combination of gradual market-leaning reform, accelerated growth and dubious institutions undercuts important strands of economic thinking emphasizing the importance of private ownership, full price flexibility, and "good" institutions in stimulating sustained growth of output, productivity, and incomes. The same circumstances raise the question of whether institutional flaws will slow or stall China's growth machine. Despite well-known institutional shortcomings, the author finds that China's economy harbors institutional strengths inherited from the period of socialist planning and also from the pre-socialist era, that these strengths substantially offset the negative impact of present-day institutional arrangements, and that institutional flaws therefore seem unlikely to undercut the economy's forward momentum. In China, unlike most economies, readily available metrics allow outsiders to track the progress of institutional improvement.


Prof. Thomas Rawski is Professor of Economics and History and UCIS Research Professor at University of Pittsburgh, and has been on the faculty since 1985. His research focuses on the nature and implications of recent developments and long term changes in the economy of China. He held grants and fellowships from the Henry Luce Foundation, the National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council and Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation, just to name a few. Professor Rawski is currently elected member of China and Inner Asia Council of Association for Asian Studies.