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The Role of Elites in Economic Development$
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the late Alice H. Amsden, Alisa DiCaprio, and James A. Robinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199659036

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659036.001.0001

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Why Are the Elite in China Motivated and Able to Promote Growth?

Why Are the Elite in China Motivated and Able to Promote Growth?

Chapter:
(p.231) 10 Why Are the Elite in China Motivated and Able to Promote Growth?
Source:
The Role of Elites in Economic Development
Author(s):

Xiaowei Zang

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199659036.003.0010

Rapid economic development in China in the post-1978 era has been considered ‘intriguing’ and ‘puzzling’ since it occurred under the dominance of the Communist party: the fusion of politics and economics is supposed to be a powerful impediment to market growth. Scholars have proposed different accounts to explain this paradox, with particular emphasis on the role of the political elite in economic progress. This chapter contributes to this literature by studying why the political elite are motivated to promote economic development in China. It studies the historical development of China’s developmental elites to understand their motivations for economic growth. To better understand whether or not elites in developing countries promote economic growth, scholars should focus on factors such as historical experience, political stability, leadership turnover, or elite perceptions about the impact of growth on their hold on power, rather than the differences between autocracy and democracy.

Keywords:   China, democracy, autocracy, development, growth, elites

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