China's regional development : problems facing policymakers during the economic transition

Waters, Sally. (1998). China's regional development : problems facing policymakers during the economic transition Honours Thesis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland.

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Author Waters, Sally.
Thesis Title China's regional development : problems facing policymakers during the economic transition
School, Centre or Institute School of Economics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 1998
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Total pages 100
Language eng
Subjects 14 Economics
Formatted abstract
China has experienced rapid economic growth since the reform period began in 1978. However, at a less aggregative level significant problems remain. Factor price distortions have led to a bias against labour and to the adoption of capital and energy intensive production techniques. State-owned enterprises (SOEs) have been insulated from their private counterparts insofar as material costs of SOEs have been kept low by maintaining low prices for primary products. Low produce prices have thereby created a disincentive to farm and encouraged young rural workers to migrate to urban areas to work.

China's reforms have emphasised development of eastern regions in the hope that benefits from growth would trickle-down to other regions. However, without established linkages between the regions, income disparity between China's central and western interior and the East has widened. New solutions to employment and migration must be found and the initial steps are to develop better measures of regional inequalities and to improve understanding of the distribution and causes of migration flows.

In this thesis, China's Human Welfare Index (CHWI), an indicator of development that encompasses important components of socioeconomic welfare based on the framework of the United Nations Development Programme HDI (Human Development Index), has been designed and calculated for China's thirty regions. Preliminary analysis on the causes and effects of internal migration in China has also been undertaken. Employment generation through service sector development and low-interest loans to China's rural poor are explored as important development strategies for policymakers to help absorb China's surplus rural labour and newly redundant SOE workers.

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