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Performance and mechanisms of the Maoist economy: a holistic approach, 1950-1980

Deng, Kent ORCID: 0000-0002-9795-3646, Shen, Jim Huangnan and Guo, Jingyuan (2022) Performance and mechanisms of the Maoist economy: a holistic approach, 1950-1980. Economic History Working Papers (345). London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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This article probes performance and mechanisms of the Maoist economy from 1950 to 1980, a period commonly regarded as a turning point that ushered in a bumpy but new path for China’s new economic fortune, including industrialisation and modernisation. Mao and his government have often been regarded as a developer and moderniser for China. This study questions it. To that end, the Maoist economy is re-conceptualised, re-examined, and re-assessed with qualitative and quantitative evidence including empirical modelling. The key findings suggest that the Maoist economy was a closed one with industrial dependence on agriculture in an urbanrural zero-sum. In the end, despite the official propaganda agriculture declined, industrial workforce stagnated, and the population was poor. This gloomy performance justified the post-Mao reforms and opening up, a game changer that put China on a very different trajectory of growth and development.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: H - Public Economics > H5 - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies > H57 - Procurement
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N15 - Asia including Middle East
N - Economic History > N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income, and Wealth > N35 - Economic History: Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Income and Wealth: Asia including Middle East
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O2 - Development Planning and Policy > O21 - Planning Models; Planning Policy
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O41 - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
P - Economic Systems > P2 - Socialist Systems and Transitional Economies > P21 - Planning, Coordination, and Reform
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2022 10:54
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 12:25

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