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Empirical analysis of the sources of China's economic growth in 1978‐2008

Wang Hongwei (Institute of Quantitative and Technical Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China)
Li Ping (Institute of Industrial Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Beijing, China)

Journal of Knowledge-based Innovation in China

ISSN: 1756-1418

Article publication date: 5 July 2011

1178

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to reflect the quality of Chinese economic growth and analyze its influential factors through measuring the change rate of technological progress and its contribution rate to economic growth between 1978 and 2008.

Design/methodology/approach

In this paper, an all factor productivity (AFP) method is taken. AFP is essentially a weighted sum of all input factors' productivity. Besides, general hypotheses for production function, such assumptions are not required as neutral technological progress, constant returns to scale and producer equilibrium in method of AFP. Furthermore, specific forms of production function are not needed and can be calculated directly. This method tries to relax the assumptions to make the estimated rate of technological progress closer to the reality in China.

Findings

Empirical research using the AFP method shows a contribution rate of AFP to economic growth has been significantly improved since reform and opening‐up; however, that AFP fluctuates during different periods. China's economic growth is driven by investment and mainly depends on accumulation of capital input and moderate technological progress. Generally speaking, China's change of technological progress is consistent with its economic growth and technological progress plays an important role in its economic growth. The paper concludes that it is becoming significant for China to speed up its large‐scale technological progress, strengthen indigenous innovation, accelerate human resource development, and to facilitate promotion of system reform in an in‐depth manner.

Originality/value

First, in order to ensure the accuracy measurement, and taking into account the impact of macro‐economic control policies, the rate of change of technological progress and its contribution to economic growth are measured, according to the stages of China's economic cycles. Second, the perpetual inventory method is taken to calculate the annual value of fixed asset investment, and price deflated index is used to convert fixed asset investment into comparable data of the base year, 1978. Since the data of fixed assets price index began to be released from 1992, data from 1978 to 1991 are obtained by mathematical method through extension. Third, the theoretical model of AFP is transformed into an empirical one to estimate the change rate of technological progress and its contribution to economic growth in China.

Keywords

Citation

Hongwei, W. and Ping, L. (2011), "Empirical analysis of the sources of China's economic growth in 1978‐2008", Journal of Knowledge-based Innovation in China, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 91-105. https://doi.org/10.1108/17561411111138946

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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