China’s 2010 census revealed a population of 1.34 billion, 50 percent urban, 13.3 percent above age sixty, and with 118.06 boys born for every 100 girls. In this article, we discuss how gender imbalance, population aging, and their interaction with rapid urbanization have shaped China’s reform era development and will strongly shape China’s future. These intertwined demographic changes pose an unprecedented challenge to social and economic governance, contributing to and magnifying the effects of a slower rate of economic growth.
China's population of 1.34 billion is now 50 percent urban, over 13 percent above age 60, and with 118 boys born for every 100 girls. For such a large population at a relatively low level of per capita income, how will aging interact with substantial gender imbalance and rapid urbanization?
As China's economy grows so does the prevalence of social inequality. In a YaleGlobal Online article, a team of Shorenstein APARC China experts says the country must invest more now in education and public health programs for its rural children or it will face major growth challenges in the near future.
For the peasants in rural China, the harvest season is the occasion when several different worlds—the business world of large companies, the entrepreneurial world of middlemen, local elites and peasant households—are compressed into the same social space, thereby inducing intensive economic and social interactions and crystallizing social relations among villagers, local elites and markets.
Drawing on insights from recent economic theories of incomplete contracts and property rights, we develop a theoretical model on authority relationships in the Chinese bureaucracy by conceptualizing the allocation of control rights in goal setting, inspection and incentive provision among the principal, supervisor and agent. Variations in the allocation of control rights give rise to different modes of governance and entail distinct behavioral implications among the parties involved.
The prevailing image in the economic and legal literature portrays property rights as “a bundle of rights” and emphasizes their exclusivity, autonomy, and stability. Building on Zhou (2005), the authors elaborate and illustrate an alternative theoretical model to conceptualize property rights as a relational concept. They argue that the formation and evolution of property rights reflect ongoing social relations between an organization and its key stakeholders within and outside its boundaries.
Focusing on the episodes of the government’s Paved Road to Every Village (PREV) project in an agricultural township in northern China, this article examines two research issues: First, the role of state policies, government bureaucracies, and village cadres in the provision of public goods, especially the unintended consequences that led to huge collective debts and the erosion of the collective basis of governance and second, the role of local institutions and social relations in resource mobilization, problem solving, and response to crises, especially in the aftermath of the PREV project
China is transforming itself, and the world is adapting in response. Profound forces have reshaped the country's socioeconomic and political landscapes, but they have also brought challenges—growing pains—that China must face if it is to continue its upward trajectory.