China Economic Reform


China’s Economic Development and Reform 


Fall Semester

Type of Course




Aims and Objectives

The course aims to provide an overview of Chinese economic development and development strategies.

Course Contents

The course is an introduction to China’s economic development and reform. We will go through the history of China’s economic development prior to 1979, but the focus of the course is China’s economic reform and development since 1979. Some key questions will be addressed in the course include: how could China achieve rapid economic growth in the last three decades? How is the Chinese economy structured? How has this structure changed overtime? What is the current relationship between the private and public sectors, and how has this changed since 1979? What about township/village enterprises? What are some innovative Chinese companies, and how have they succeeded? Is Chinese economic development sustainable? The course investigates the transformation of Chinese economy, especially since 1979, and analyzes the political and economic reasons behind the transformation and the politics of the transformation. The instruction of the course is organized into lectures and discussions. The aim is to help students to gain a comprehensive understanding of and develop skills to analyze Chinese economy and its transformation. Schedule for 2012

Week 1 (9/12): Introduction

Week 2 (9/19): General Background

9/26 no class, read assignments

10/3 no class, National day holiday break

Week 3 (10/10): Political and Economic Reforms

Week 4 (10/17): The State and Development Strategies

Week 5 (10/24): Agriculture Reform and Rural Development

Week 6 (10/31): Rural industrialization

11/7 no class, read assignments/write proposal

Week 7 (11/14): Reforming the State-owned enterprises

Week 8 (11/21): Opening up: Foreign Trade

Week 9 (11/28): FDI and MNC in China

Week 10 (12/5): Inequality

Week 11 (12/12): Sustaining China’s Economic Development

12/19 no class, review for final exam/write final paper

12/26 no class, review for final exam/write final paper

Week 12 (1/2): final exam/(1/3)final paper presentation

Textbook/Recommended Reading

Textbook and Required readings:

Barry Naughton, The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth, The MIT Press, 2007.

Assigned readings each week in a reading package.

Recommended readings:

 1. Loren Brandt, Thomas G. Rawski ed. China's Great Economic Transformation. Cambridge University Press, 2008.

2. Lardy, Nicholas R. 1998. China’s unfinished economic revolution. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.

3. Oi, Jean C. 1999. Rural China takes off: institutional foundations of economic reform. Berkeley and London: University of California Press.

Course Evaluation

Doing the required readings, participation in class discussion and making presentations are key requirements of the course, and will help you ask better questions and prepare for final exam.

The grading: in-class discussion participation and presentation, 40%; final exam, 60%.




Zhang Changdong