Reviews 499 Elizabeth Freund Larus. Economic Reform in China, 19792003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 2005. v, 286 pp. Hardcover $119.95, Isbn 0773461450. Economic Reform in China, 19792003: The Marketization of Labor and State Enterprises is, in the author's words, "a study of China's attempt to modernize and revitalize its state industry in the post-Mao Zedong era" (p. 1). Although the major premise of the book--that the "reforms of the last two decades, namely the marketization and corporatization of large-scale industrial state-owned enterprises provided China's policymakers an alternative to privatization, given political constraints" (p. 3)--has previously been suggested in the economic literature, the author does provide a detailed historical overview of that process and some fresh insights and ideas. This work clearly illustrates how the path of enterprise reform in China has been gradual but certainly not smooth. The transformation of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), from maximizing employment to maximizing profits and achieving efficiency, would not have been easy anywhere. However, in China the problem is vastly compounded by the fact that these enterprises were conceived not only as providers of employment but also as providers of economic and social welfare, in
China Review International – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Nov 28, 2008
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