Origins of the Growth‐Promoting State
Heterodox interpretations of Chinese economic growth are undoubtedly correct in pinpointing the critical and successful role played by the state in the growth of the transition era. However, heterodox accounts of the role of the developmental state across East Asia do not go far enough. We also need a coherent theory of the origins of the growth‐promoting state in China. This chapter offers such a theory, arguing that the absence of large inequalities in income and wealth at the close of the Maoist era, and the weakness of the Party bureaucracy as a result of the Cultural Revolution, insulated the Dengist state against rent‐seeking coalitions and allowed it to be developmental. However, as inequality has risen during the 1980s and 1990s, so the ability of the Chinese state to intervene effectively has waned.
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