web site hit counter How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (Cornell Studies in Political Economy) - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (Cornell Studies in Political Economy)

Availability: Ready to download

Before markets opened in 1978, China was an impoverished planned economy governed by a Maoist bureaucracy. In just three decades it evolved into the world's second-largest economy and is today guided by highly entrepreneurial bureaucrats. In How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, Yuen Yuen Ang explains this astonishing metamorphosis. Rather than insist that either strong inst Before markets opened in 1978, China was an impoverished planned economy governed by a Maoist bureaucracy. In just three decades it evolved into the world's second-largest economy and is today guided by highly entrepreneurial bureaucrats. In How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, Yuen Yuen Ang explains this astonishing metamorphosis. Rather than insist that either strong institutions of good governance foster markets or that growth enables good governance, Ang lays out a new, dynamic framework for understanding development broadly. Successful development, she contends, is a coevolutionary process in which markets and governments mutually adapt.By mapping this coevolution, Ang reveals a startling conclusion: poor and weak countries can escape the poverty trap by first harnessing weak institutions—features that defy norms of good governance—to build markets. Further, she stresses that adaptive processes, though essential for development, do not automatically occur. Highlighting three universal roadblocks to adaptation, Ang identifies how Chinese reformers crafted enabling conditions for effective improvisation.How China Escaped the Poverty Trap offers the most complete synthesis to date of the numerous interacting forces that have shaped China’s dramatic makeover and the problems it faces today. Looking beyond China, Ang also traces the coevolutionary sequence of development in late medieval Europe, antebellum United States, and contemporary Nigeria, and finds surprising parallels among these otherwise disparate cases. Indispensable to all who care about development, this groundbreaking book challenges the convention of linear thinking and points to an alternative path out of poverty traps.


Compare

Before markets opened in 1978, China was an impoverished planned economy governed by a Maoist bureaucracy. In just three decades it evolved into the world's second-largest economy and is today guided by highly entrepreneurial bureaucrats. In How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, Yuen Yuen Ang explains this astonishing metamorphosis. Rather than insist that either strong inst Before markets opened in 1978, China was an impoverished planned economy governed by a Maoist bureaucracy. In just three decades it evolved into the world's second-largest economy and is today guided by highly entrepreneurial bureaucrats. In How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, Yuen Yuen Ang explains this astonishing metamorphosis. Rather than insist that either strong institutions of good governance foster markets or that growth enables good governance, Ang lays out a new, dynamic framework for understanding development broadly. Successful development, she contends, is a coevolutionary process in which markets and governments mutually adapt.By mapping this coevolution, Ang reveals a startling conclusion: poor and weak countries can escape the poverty trap by first harnessing weak institutions—features that defy norms of good governance—to build markets. Further, she stresses that adaptive processes, though essential for development, do not automatically occur. Highlighting three universal roadblocks to adaptation, Ang identifies how Chinese reformers crafted enabling conditions for effective improvisation.How China Escaped the Poverty Trap offers the most complete synthesis to date of the numerous interacting forces that have shaped China’s dramatic makeover and the problems it faces today. Looking beyond China, Ang also traces the coevolutionary sequence of development in late medieval Europe, antebellum United States, and contemporary Nigeria, and finds surprising parallels among these otherwise disparate cases. Indispensable to all who care about development, this groundbreaking book challenges the convention of linear thinking and points to an alternative path out of poverty traps.

30 review for How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (Cornell Studies in Political Economy)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Clay

    Does economic growth need good governance? Or does good governance require economic growth as a precondition? Or is governance predetermined by historical experience? Ms. Ang argues that all are true in some ways to understand China since 1978. Starting with a poor economy and Maoist bureaucracy, the first stage in some CHinese counties was a process of coevolution of markets and administration: a beehive campaign, where every office was given an investment target to meet by courting their famil Does economic growth need good governance? Or does good governance require economic growth as a precondition? Or is governance predetermined by historical experience? Ms. Ang argues that all are true in some ways to understand China since 1978. Starting with a poor economy and Maoist bureaucracy, the first stage in some CHinese counties was a process of coevolution of markets and administration: a beehive campaign, where every office was given an investment target to meet by courting their family and business contacts. This produced all kinds of investments: some productive, others not. This led to realization by administration that they needed to reorganize the effort to go after quality, not just quantity of investments. Specialization of functions emerged, and these more weberian offices took steps to restructure the economy, and target selected industries for growth. All this goes on with loose direction from the center, like a movie director, and then improvisation from the cast of thousands below. It's better than "good enough governance", its really ideal for the setting, keeps course correcting, makes best use of institutional mix as it evolves over time. It's also not just finding the binding constraints. These were incremental reforms, but not piecemeal; the whole system was being transformed. Starting up growth in poor places is very different from sustaining growth that already exists, and requires a different institutional and capability mix. Effective adaptation means variation: balancing variety and uniformity, selection: defining and rewarding successful adaptation, and nich creation: turning heterogeneity across units into a system advantage. Adaptation means there is no best practice, but only trial and error to see what works: it doesn't matter whether it is a black or white cat, as long as it catches mice; or seeking truth from facts. Development by franchising: central direction on certain aspects, but otherwise do what works in local context, like MacDonalds. Some direction was a clear no: red lines. Some was ambiguous: grey, and some was positive: black. Grey may lead to black if it is proven to work in practice. Different localities develop different sectors, at different paces, but the causal sequence is: harness weak institutions to build markets -> emerging markets stimulate strong institutions -> strong institutions preserve markets. This account could be strengthened by adding historical perspective. One aspect underplayed here is the extensive connections between the USA and China over the last 240 years. Ideas about markets in China were nurtured by American's in China, Chinese educated in America, and extensive trade and financial relations between the countries. Another more subtle aspect is the influence of John Dewey, who gave over 200 talks in China over a two year period in the 1920s, advocating a pragmatic, experimental approach to solving economic, social and political problems: moving on by taking a step forward here, a bit of improvement there. This approach was resisted by leadership from both the right (Chiang Kai Shek) and left (Mao), who thought China needed a big idea "ism". But post Mao, China was back to the Dewey approach, though not calling it that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wim

    How China Escaped the Poverty Trap is not just about China and the economic miracle that lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It is about how development happens, about the coevolutionary mechanisms of governance and market building and how to create the conditions that make this possible. That is why the book is also of interest for people like me, mainly focussing on Africa. The book is a very important contribution to the development debate and shows convincingly that modern How China Escaped the Poverty Trap is not just about China and the economic miracle that lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. It is about how development happens, about the coevolutionary mechanisms of governance and market building and how to create the conditions that make this possible. That is why the book is also of interest for people like me, mainly focussing on Africa. The book is a very important contribution to the development debate and shows convincingly that modern western-style institutions are not helping poor countries to develop their markets. The good governance agenda as promoted by western donors and multilateral institutions is based on wrong premises. Very insightful.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karthik

    I infer three big contributions (answering three big questions of development economics) of this book to the broader literature of development economics. These questions are seldom asked in development, much less answered. These questions are 1) There's a growth vs. institutions dichotomy in development literature often posed in form of two statements - you first need growth to build institutions OR you need institutions to get growth. But no one asked - should it always be a dichotomy? Can growt I infer three big contributions (answering three big questions of development economics) of this book to the broader literature of development economics. These questions are seldom asked in development, much less answered. These questions are 1) There's a growth vs. institutions dichotomy in development literature often posed in form of two statements - you first need growth to build institutions OR you need institutions to get growth. But no one asked - should it always be a dichotomy? Can growth and institutions co-evolve? This book raises this unquestioned question and answers that growth and institutions have always co-evolved historically. This may seem obvious statement but it isn't - a brief survey of development debates would tell you that. More than that, it's not just enough to make this statement. One has to prove it with some examples. Most of the hard work goes there. The author has gone into enormous details of China's growth story to make this point. 2) "Countries need adaptability" - This is another famous dictum in development. But no one asks - what conditions enables adaptability? This book raises this question and answers it, drawing lessons from China's story. 3) "Laundry list of reforms vs. All in reforms" - In general, the policy recommendations are made in form of a laundry list of steps that are to be taken. This presumes that there are few constraints, addressing which can lead to growth. This may not be a correct way to frame the question, what the author calls "complicated problem". Addressing few constraints will work if it's a system like a car, where few parts are to be repaired. But it needn't be applicable to what the author calls "complex problem". Complex problems are those where there are many unknown unknowns and where combinations of constraints can lead to new constraints. In such cases, one has to go for an all-in reform, where you have to make "incremental reform across wide range of connected domains simultaneously". If you do fragmented reform across only few domains, those efforts won't translate into outcomes. One has to do reform across wide spectrum of areas. This again may seem obvious but many miss it. Overall, I highly recommend the book. It's a quick read and written in an engaging manner in simple language, accessible to a non-specialist reader. For those interested, here is a summary and review of the book on my blog http://www.iterativeadaptation.in/201...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Diego

    Si hoy les dijera que quizá los consejos genéricos de las organizaciones internacionales, de consultores y demás expertos en desarrollo económico no son tan útiles, probablemente muchos no lo creerían o dirían que es una locura. Pero en este libro Yuen Yuen Ang toma la experiencia China durante los últimos 30 años para producir una explicación sobre como el desarrollo económico realmente ocurre, el resultado muestra que tiene poco en común con lo que los consultores, el Banco Mundial o la mayorí Si hoy les dijera que quizá los consejos genéricos de las organizaciones internacionales, de consultores y demás expertos en desarrollo económico no son tan útiles, probablemente muchos no lo creerían o dirían que es una locura. Pero en este libro Yuen Yuen Ang toma la experiencia China durante los últimos 30 años para producir una explicación sobre como el desarrollo económico realmente ocurre, el resultado muestra que tiene poco en común con lo que los consultores, el Banco Mundial o la mayoría de los expertos consideraría “la receta para el desarrollo”. La autora propone un entendimiento más sofisticado del proceso, uno de coevolución donde salimos de la falsa dicotomía entre “mejores instituciones producen crecimiento” o “mayor crecimiento nos permite tener mejores instituciones”. En la realidad las dos cosas se necesitan, no hay causalidad en una sola dirección, todo lo contrario, la causalidad corre todo el tiempo en ambas direcciones. De esta manera son los países que logren mantenerse en un proceso constante de adaptación de su realidad política, regulatoria y económica los que tienen mayor probabilidad de obtener buenos resultados. Su idea de el desarrollo económico como un proceso coevolutivo va en contra de las Interpretaciones deterministas que apuntan a que si tienes malas instituciones no hay nada que hacer. En mi opinión es un entendimiento similar al de Justin Yifu Lin “industrial upgrading” pero aplicado a la economía política del desarrollo. Donde las instituciones y el crecimiento van de la mano y se retroalimentan entre si y el trabajo del estado es fijar la dirección de esa coevolución, pero no necesariamente controlarla. Es un libro extraordinario, con una gran claridad y lucidez de análisis. Además en el se ven los inicios del tipo de pensamiento que llevaría a la autora a producir luego China’s Gilded Age, este par de libros realmente se leen muy bien juntos. Lo recomiendo mucho.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mike Peleah

    The power of improvisation. Directed improvisation. There is no shortage of ‘best practices’ or ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions in a development economy. Free trade, democracy, institution building, you name it. The Washington Consensus has reigned in the decades since the 1990s. Now the Beijing consensus is emerging. Yuen Yuen Ang dismisses such solutions and suggests that there is no universal prescription. Her one-sentence summary is “Poor and weak countries can escape the poverty trap by first The power of improvisation. Directed improvisation. There is no shortage of ‘best practices’ or ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions in a development economy. Free trade, democracy, institution building, you name it. The Washington Consensus has reigned in the decades since the 1990s. Now the Beijing consensus is emerging. Yuen Yuen Ang dismisses such solutions and suggests that there is no universal prescription. Her one-sentence summary is “Poor and weak countries can escape the poverty trap by first building markets with weak institutions and, more fundamentally, by crafting environments that facilitate improvisation among the relevant players.” She explores this idea through studying how China managed to achieve and sustain economic development after Mao. The country employed this approach, which allowed the to achievement of economic growth in complex circumstances. Yuen Yuen Ang call this approach ‘directed improvisation’ where central reformers direct and local state agents improvise. It taps local knowledge and adapts to the local circumstances, while aiming at an overarching goal. The resulting transformative process has displayed three distinct patterns. It is broad, bringing systemic changes despite incremental reforms. It is bold, unusually entrepreneurial but also attracts corruption-prone bureaucrats. Finally, it is uneven, with wide regional disparities coexisting with national prosperity. The Government nurtured what Yuen Yuen Ang calls ‘directed innovation’ through variation, selection and niche creation. To promote variation, central reformers allowed local agents to flexibly implement central mandates according to local conditions. This has been done through deliberate creation of grey zones, as too much leeway could create chaos. Hence, Central bodies clearly delineated these zones of local improvisation. They imposed red lines around local administration, denoting things which are prohibited and risk very severe punishments; and black lines for things which must be delivered, again at the risk of severe punishment in the case of non-performance. The rest was in a grey zone, open for innovation and adaptation to local conditions. Selection was promoted by clearly defining and rewarding success within bureaucracy, of the type in the black lines discussed above. Central reformers clearly communicated the criteria for success to lower levels and ranked localities, and closely looked for what has worked and what didn’t. Successful models and approaches then became central policy, scaled up and replicated throughout China. For instance, the famous Township and Village Enterprises (TVEs) were neither prescribed, nor anticipated by central reformers, as Deng Xiaoping himself admitted. They grew up out of local experimentation at that stage of the reforms, as best fit to local needs and conditions, to produce growth spurts, and centrally imposed restrictions for the of non-acceptability of private property. The diversity of China provided the raw material for innovation, resulting in niche creation for different localities. Regional diversity thus turned from liability into a collective advantage. The methodology Yuen Yuen Ang used is a mapping of the ‘coevolutionary process’, with whole Chapter (1) and Annex (A) devoted to the description of the methodology. She does not engage into construction of sophisticated regression models, torturing data in the elusive quest for causality out of correlation. Neither does she stick to small N approach, looking through messy and overcomplicated set of variable for a single case (By the way, enquiring reader could find great discussion of cultural differences between small N versus big N approaches in A Tale of Two Cultures: Qualitative and Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences). Hence, no oversimplification and no messy non-reductionist approach to complexity. Rather, a complex approach, which captures a non-linear, co-evolutionary process, in reduced form. She tracks changes in the related systems of economy and institutions, over the time. Throughout the book, she dives into examples of Forest Hill, Blessed County and Humble County in China, which are archetypes of various types of localities in China. In her methodological annex she extends this approach to two additional cases of tax-less finance in United States of America in the 1880s and raise of Nollywood in Nigeria. The three ‘I’s haunting development economics, according to Esther Duflo, are a conceiving Ideology, often derived out of Ignorance, that is perpetuated as a result of Inertia (see also Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty). More and more we do recognize the complex nature of issues we face with, the inadequacy of opaque models pushing correlation for causality, and the lack of Silver Bullet solutions. However, we are yet to find the instruments for handling complexity in a meaningful way. The book by Yuen Yuen Ang is an excellent starting point for this intellectual inquiry. Originally at https://wp.me/p54akc-3P

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Wells

    I just love it when a book totally opens up a whole new way of thinking about things. I don't read much political economy, so to be fair this contains a whole lot of new thinking for me - but I really enjoyed it, and reckon others would too. (No it isn't perfect - but I look forward to seeing what Yuen Yuen Ang has to say next!) I just love it when a book totally opens up a whole new way of thinking about things. I don't read much political economy, so to be fair this contains a whole lot of new thinking for me - but I really enjoyed it, and reckon others would too. (No it isn't perfect - but I look forward to seeing what Yuen Yuen Ang has to say next!)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Terry Earley

    https://www.foreignaffairs.com/review... https://ssir.org/articles/entry/to_sp...# https://www.foreignaffairs.com/review... https://ssir.org/articles/entry/to_sp...#

  8. 4 out of 5

    Tobi Lawson

    Absolutely the best book I have read on political economics. Yuen Yuen Ang detailed ground-level analysis of the process of economic change in China is superb. This is not lens through any particular life, but an analysis of how policy affects many live. Must-read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarfraz Lal Din

    Well written case studies of different counties of China to understand Institutions vs growth debate. Coevolution is the conclusion which is very rightly constructed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    Textbook

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    This is a fairly dry book. I get the impression that it's directed more at other academics than interested non-specialists, but the information contained within it is fascinating. The essential argument is that weak states need to bootstrap their way to modern free-market economies by making markets and institutions that function well relative to their current level of growth and that can be refined or replaced as the country and its economy develop. After finishing this book I felt better able This is a fairly dry book. I get the impression that it's directed more at other academics than interested non-specialists, but the information contained within it is fascinating. The essential argument is that weak states need to bootstrap their way to modern free-market economies by making markets and institutions that function well relative to their current level of growth and that can be refined or replaced as the country and its economy develop. After finishing this book I felt better able to understand why many well intentioned development plans failed to have their desired effects in other countries.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Turlockton

    Not once does she go into the actually evidence for her belaboured theory, so don't bother reading this, we have enough ideologies in the world, we need a few more facts. So, I didn't read it all, I got sick of waiting for her to get to the point and to dive into the research (as opposed from the kindergarten-esque confusing correlation with causation that she actually does), so in what I read she didn't get into evidence, if someone is reading this and knows where she does, please let me know. Ph Not once does she go into the actually evidence for her belaboured theory, so don't bother reading this, we have enough ideologies in the world, we need a few more facts. So, I didn't read it all, I got sick of waiting for her to get to the point and to dive into the research (as opposed from the kindergarten-esque confusing correlation with causation that she actually does), so in what I read she didn't get into evidence, if someone is reading this and knows where she does, please let me know. Philip Tetlock studied "experts" and found that the most ideological were the most wrong, this writer doesn't go a whole page without mentioning her ideology. She also doesn't explain in detail what exactly is wrong with the other models she's so eager to dismiss, she just seems to assume they're wrong because they're not her theory. In the first chapter she cites her interviews with chinese bureaucrats as proof that previous theory on bureaucracy is wrong, without actually examining any real evidence for that. That is so stupid I'm annoyed that this person even got a book published.. I'm also skeptical that other theorists say things are linear as she claims, I've read some work by Acemoglu and Robinson (not on China) but they regularly emphasise the complicated, interdependent nature of economics and how hard it is to isolate cause and effect. And she does all of this not-citing-evidence in a needlessly longwinded, jargony style. She also like to quote people rather than reference research, ie the appeal to authority fallacy.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    One could only hope to produce such a magisterial doctoral dissertation. The author borrows from evolutionary biology and complexity theory to analyze the development of markets in China. It is a co-evolutionary process of ground up and top down institutional reform that has produced the PRC's incredible growth since Deng Xiaoping's reforms. The book is well written and accessible to a middle-brow popular audience with a grasp of basic economics and politics--your average reader of the WSJ or Eco One could only hope to produce such a magisterial doctoral dissertation. The author borrows from evolutionary biology and complexity theory to analyze the development of markets in China. It is a co-evolutionary process of ground up and top down institutional reform that has produced the PRC's incredible growth since Deng Xiaoping's reforms. The book is well written and accessible to a middle-brow popular audience with a grasp of basic economics and politics--your average reader of the WSJ or Economist.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gavin Hickey

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hox

  16. 5 out of 5

    K

  17. 5 out of 5

    Edward Guo

  18. 4 out of 5

    Steven Yuan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Michael Fredslund

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

  21. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rui S

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jelle Goossens

  24. 5 out of 5

    Justin Kwon

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lakshay Aggarwal

  26. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  27. 4 out of 5

    Neiser Hugo Tuesta Carmona

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mauricio Santoro

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ines Bentchikou

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sheela Lal

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.