Publication Date

January 1998

Publication Details

Harvie, C, Economic Transition: What Can Be Learned from China's Experience, Working Paper 98-4, Department of Economics, University of Wollongong, 1998.


The last decade of this century has witnessed the transition of the formerly centrally planned economies of Europe and Asia to market economies, a process affecting some 1.7 billion people in 28 countries. While much agreement exists on the sorts of reform measures required, disagreement exists over their sequencing. The economic and social performance of these transition economies has varied considerably and for a variety of reasons, however China's performance, in particular, has been outstanding. The paper reviews the reform measures required for economic transition, and alternative sequencing approaches to these reforms. It conducts an overview of the performance of the transition economies, with focus placed upon the experience of the Chinese economy. An analysis of China's approach to economic reform, its key components, major outcomes and outstanding issues are discussed. Key lessons to be derived for other transition economies from China's experience are also presented.