The Chinese Economy

The Chinese Economy

Transitions and Growth

By Barry J. Naughton





This comprehensive overview of the modern Chinese economy by a noted expert on China's economic development offers a quality and breadth of coverage not found in any other English-language text. In The Chinese Economy, Barry Naughton provides both an engaging, broadly focused introduction to China's economy since 1949 and original insights based on his own extensive research. The book will be an essential resource for students, teachers, scholars, business people, and policymakers. It is suitable for classroom use for undergraduate or graduate courses.

After presenting background material on the pre-1949 economy and the industrialization, reform, and market transition that have taken place since, the book examines different aspects of the modern Chinese economy. It analyzes patterns of growth and development, including population growth and the one-child family policy; the rural economy, including agriculture and rural industrialization; industrial and technological development in urban areas; international trade and foreign investment; macroeconomic trends and cycles and the financial system; and the largely unaddressed problems of environmental quality and the sustainability of growth.

The text is notable also for placing China's economy in interesting comparative contexts, discussing it in relation to other transitional or developing economies and to such advanced industrial countries as the United States and Japan. It provides both a broad historical and macro perspective as well as a focused examination of the actual workings of China's complex and dynamic economic development. Interest in the Chinese economy will only grow as China becomes an increasingly important player on the world's stage. This book will be the standard reference for understanding and teaching about the next economic superpower.

Instructor Resources

Downloadable instructor resources available for this title: file of figures in the book


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262140959 544 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 53 illus.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262640640 544 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 53 illus.


  • Authored by a leading specialist on the Chinese economy, Barry Naughton's book provides a lucid, systematic, and insightful view of China's road to becoming a 'powerhouse of the global economy' as well as of the challenges ahead in sustaining past accomplishments. Designed primarily as a textbook, its comprehensive coverage and sophisticated analysis assure that it will become a valuable and much-used resource for anyone seeking an understanding of China's economy.

    Steven M. Goldstein

    Sophia Smith Professor of Government, Smith College

  • In this masterful overview and analysis of the Chinese economy, Barry Naughton achieves such depth and breadth that it is impossible to identify only one major contribution. In effortless prose he describes the status of every major parameter of the sprawling economy and offers a treasure trove of empirical data drawn from the most current primary sources. In addition, Naughton systematically explores how the experiences of both the imperial and socialist pasts shape contemporary conditions and raises provocative questions about China's ability to sustain growth rates that already equal or surpass those of postwar Japan. Prepared as a textbook, The Chinese Economy has the intellectual weight and staying power of a major monograph.

    Deborah Davis

    Professor of Sociology, Yale University

  • Barry Naughton is one of the top experts on China's economy, and there's no one who could have done a better job in writing a book like this. I have nothing but praise for the book, which fills a pressing need for a comprehensive textbook introducing students to the recent history, nature, and likely immediate prospects for China's economy.

    Louis Putterman

    Professor of Economics, Brown University