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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press China's Export Led Growth Model Wasn't Always So Export Led

China's Export Led Growth Model Wasn't Always So Export Led

Tuesday, 16 July 2013 19:33

Wonkblog has an interesting interview with Patrick Chovanec, an economics professor at Tsinghua University’s School of Economics and Management in Beijing on China's current economic problems. At one point Mr. Chovanec refers to:

"China’s growth model for the last 30 years, which has been a classic export-led growth model."

Actually China's growth over the last three decades has not been consistently export led, or at least not to the same degree as was the case in the 10 years leading up to the economic crisis.


As can be seen, until 1997, the year of the East Asian financial crisis, China had relatively balanced trade. It did run substantial surpluses in several years, but its trade surplus averaged just 0.3 percent of GDP from 1980 to 1996. By contrast, in the years from 1997 to 2008 the surplus averaged 4.5 percent of GDP. There clearly was a qualitatively different story of growth in the period from the East Asian financial crisis to the 2008 world economic crisis. It is misleading to imply that the Chinese economy had the same dynamic over this whole period.

Comments (2)Add Comment
written by Alan, July 16, 2013 8:01
China became a member of the WTO in December, 2001. http://www.wto.org/english/the...hina_e.htm
written by Ryan, July 17, 2013 8:03
It kind of looks like the EAFC changed things, like maybe putting the fear of defending currencies in the minds of policymakers. Dollars might be useful in such an effort.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.