BOOK REVIEWS – China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know, Author: Arthur R. Kroeber, Publishers: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. 337


China’s economic growth in the recent decades has been exceptional. Since 1979, millions of Chinese have been lifted out from poverty. The economic planning and reforms undertaken by the government have not only improved the economic wellbeing of their citizens, but it has gradually turned it into an economic superpower in the next few years. China is already the leading global trading nation and with the progression of Communication (belt and road initiatives), it is further advancing its global expansion. This comprehensive study covers China’s economic progress and its impact on the world’s economy.

The book covers various aspects of the Chinese economy, including agriculture, urbanisation, demographics, labour, energy, environment, industry, financial system, government’s role and future challenges. In the author’s own words, this book is an ‘effort to explain how China’s economy got to where it is today, where it might be headed in the coming years, and what China’s rise means for the rest of the world’. Given the complex nature of China’s economy, the author has accomplished a formidable challenge. He starts by explaining the political economy of China and calls the country’s system ‘bureaucratic-authoritarian’. He points out that unlike other modern authoritarian regimes; China has achieved three successive transfers of power from one living leader to another unrelated one. In the opening chapter, the author also discusses how, despite being a centralized state formally, it is very much decentralized in practice. He points towards the high level of discretion and autonomy enjoyed by the local governments.

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