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China's Transition to Markets-Market Preserving Federalism, Chinese Style

by Barry R. Weingastvia Analysis
Wednesday, February 1, 1995

This essay studies the relationship between decentralization and the success of economic reform in China. It begins with a theory about the relationship between the types of decentralization and economic performance. We argue that a particular form of decentralization, called market-preserving federlism, Chinese style, provides a critical component of the political foundations for market success in China.

After discussing the evolution of federalism, Chinese style, during the first fifteen years of reform (1979-1993), we turn to the political foundation of economic reform. We argue that economic success hinges in part on an important aspect of decentralization, notably, that it provides for the political security of the reforms. By creating alternative centers of power at local levels, decentralization established forces that could help resist attempts by the central government to compromise the reforms.

China's form of decentralization has served the critical purpose of creating markets at time when political resistance to economic reform remained strong and when the durability of the reforms was important. Nonetheless, federalism, Chinese style, remains incomplete, accounting for some of the anomalies surrounding China's success. It lacks some national public goods such as enforcement of a common market and a unified monetary system, and the system needs to be institutionalized via a set of rules underpinning the market. We also observed that aspects of the problems facing modern China are not unique but have historical precedents in the economic development of the West. To this end, we highlight some important parallels between the economic and political problems facing the early United States under the Articles of Confederation (1781-1787) and those of modern China.

Books

One Korea?: Challenges and Prospects for Reunification

via Hoover Institution Press
Monday, August 1, 1994

A distinguished panel of scholars from around the world convened at the Hoover Institution in June 1993 to assess prospects for a reunited Korea. Scenarios for reunification identified at that conference are presented in this volume.

Books

Shaping a New Economic Relationship: The Republic of Korea and the United States

via Hoover Institution Press
Wednesday, September 1, 1993

This volume evaluates the complex developments between the United States and Korea and offers policy recommendations for how both countries in the future might avoid the bitter politiczation of trade disputes of the recent past and expand their economic relations.

Books

The Troubled Birth of Russian Democracy: Parties, Personalities, and Programs

by Michael McFaul, Sergei Markovvia Hoover Institution Press
Saturday, May 1, 1993

Historical background on the parties, selected interviews with prominent members of these groups, and important party documents.

Books

Mission and Betrayal 1940—1945: Working with Franklin Roosevelt to Help Save Britain and Europe

via Hoover Institution Press
Thursday, April 1, 1993

The wartime memoirs of Count Rene de Chambrun provide a fascinating inside look at the world of some of the most powerful leaders and social figures in America during the turbulent early 1940s. Utilizing the detailed notes he made during that period, de Chambrun recounts the story of his dramatic wartime years, touching casually and affectionately on his intimate relationships with historic personalities.

Books

Politics In Western Europe: Second edition

by Gerald A. Dorfman, Peter J. Duignanvia Hoover Institution Press
Sunday, September 1, 1991

The close of the twentieth century has brought changes to Europe of such magnitude that some predict the return of the Age of Europe. 

Books

Two Societies in Opposition: The Republic of China and the People's Republic of China after 40 years

via Hoover Institution Press
Friday, March 1, 1991

The essays in this book employ a multidisciplinary approach to systematically compare the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China on Taiwan.

Books

Hope for South Africa?

by Peter J. Duignan, Lewis H. Gannvia Hoover Institution Press
Tuesday, January 1, 1991

In this book the authors examine the the country's power structure, economy, politics and the ways in which various branches of government and the private sector interact, and envision a prosperious South Africa built on the principles of a free market economy and parliamentary compromise.

Books

Revolution: The Reagan Legacy

by Martin Andersonvia Hoover Institution Press
Monday, October 1, 1990

Revolution: the Reagan Legacy gives a vivid account of how Reagan came to power, the way he governed, and the people around him—Bush, Haig, Deaver, Weinberger, Shultz, Stockman, Jim Baker, Don Regan, Casey, North—right through a detailed analysis of the Iran-Contra affair.

Books

In Search of Poland: The Superpowers' Response to Solidarity, 1980–1989

by Arthur Rachwaldvia Hoover Institution Press
Monday, October 1, 1990

Arthur Rachwald concludes that Solidarity was the weight that tipped the scales toward democracy as Poland balanced precariously between democracy and Marxist-Leninist totalitarianism. 

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