Permanency and Flexibility of Institutions: The Role of Decentralization in Chinese Economic Reforms

Permanency and Flexibility of Institutions: The Role of Decentralization in Chinese Economic Reforms The purpose of this paper is to offer a Lachmannian analysis aimed at studying the coherence and the efficiency of reforms in China in terms of institutional change. The idea is that transition dynamics cannot be analyzed by reference to market criteria only; transition is, above all, a change in institutions. Every transition economy thus faces the problem of creating a new institutional framework which associates the co-ordination of activities by the market with the preservation of a centralized mechanism of resource allocation. We explain that, in China, this role is played by decentralization. Indeed, we demonstrate that Chinese economic reforms, of which the main institutional vector is decentralization, show the particularity of reconciling, within one single logic, the permanency of a well-established institutional order required for the co-ordination of individual plans, and the flexibility of institutions necessary for the move towards the market. We then defend the theory that both the success and the originality of Chinese economic reforms rest on their capacity to resolve the permanency-flexibility dilemma. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Review of Austrian Economics Springer Journals

Permanency and Flexibility of Institutions: The Role of Decentralization in Chinese Economic Reforms

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2003 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Economics; Public Finance; Political Science; History of Economic Thought/Methodology
ISSN
0889-3047
eISSN
1573-7128
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1027345105462
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to offer a Lachmannian analysis aimed at studying the coherence and the efficiency of reforms in China in terms of institutional change. The idea is that transition dynamics cannot be analyzed by reference to market criteria only; transition is, above all, a change in institutions. Every transition economy thus faces the problem of creating a new institutional framework which associates the co-ordination of activities by the market with the preservation of a centralized mechanism of resource allocation. We explain that, in China, this role is played by decentralization. Indeed, we demonstrate that Chinese economic reforms, of which the main institutional vector is decentralization, show the particularity of reconciling, within one single logic, the permanency of a well-established institutional order required for the co-ordination of individual plans, and the flexibility of institutions necessary for the move towards the market. We then defend the theory that both the success and the originality of Chinese economic reforms rest on their capacity to resolve the permanency-flexibility dilemma.

Journal

The Review of Austrian EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 4, 2004

References

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