An empirical analysis of China's dualistic economic development: 1965-2009

Marco G. Ercolani, Zheng Wei

    Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    61 Downloads (Pure)


    We analyze China's rapid economic development in the context of the dualistic development theory. Over the period 1965–2009, we find that China's economic growth is mainly attributable to the development of the non-agricultural (industrial and service) sector, driven by rapid labor migration and capital accumulation. We find that the sectoral reallocation of labor plays a significant role in promoting China's economic growth. Further, we find that the marginal productivity of agricultural labor stopped stagnating in 1978, which indicates that China entered quickly into phase two of economic development with the initiation of market reforms. Moreover, by 2009, the marginal productivity of labor has likely exceeded the institutional wage, as defined by the initially low average labor productivity, indicating that China may be now in the process of entering phase three of economic development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-29
    JournalAsian Economic Papers
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 30 Oct 2011


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