International Handbook on Privatization
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International Handbook on Privatization

  • Elgar original reference

Edited by David Parker and David Saal

Privatization has dominated industrial restructuring programs since the 1980s and continues to do so. This authoritative and accessible Handbook considers all aspects of this key issue, including: the theory of privatization; privatization in transition, developed and developing economies; as well the economic regulation of privatized industries.
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Chapter 12: Privatization in China

Joseph C.H. Chai

Extract

12 Privatization in China Joseph C.H. Chai Introduction Privatization has many different meanings. According to the count of Thiemeyer, there are at least 15 concepts of privatization in the literature (cited in Bös, 1991:2). Most studies of privatization have a narrow focus. First, they focus only on the outright sale of public assets to the exclusion of other forms of transfer, such as contracting out and leasing. Second, they focus only on public assets to the exclusion of collective properties. Third, they focus only on the non-agricultural sector. As a result, privatization in most of the literature simply means the sale of state-owned nonagricultural enterprises. Based on this concept of privatization, there is little doubt that privatization in China has made very little progress, as the core of Chinese state owned enterprises (SOEs), namely the large- and medium-sized industrial enterprises, which account for a significant proportion of national industrial output, assets and employment, have not been privatized. Yet, in spite of this lack of progress in privatisation, China has been able to outperform other transitional economies in most of the economic success indicators. Chinese GDP per capita not only did not suffer a dip but advanced at an annual average rate of 8 per cent between 1978 and 1995, which is one of the highest in the world according to the World Bank (1997). Chinese unemployment and inflation rates during the transition period were significantly higher than those during the pre-reform period. However,...

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