From Demographic Dividend To Reform Dividend
Chapter 3: The Lewis Turning Point
[T]he thought is always prior to the fact; all the facts of history preexist in the mind as laws. Each law in turn is made by circumstances predominant, and the limits of nature give power to but one at a time. (Emerson, “History”) While the very first indication of the change in China’s stage of economic development is the arrival of the Lewis Turning Point, the debate over whether or not it has arrived in China at all remains unsettled. With time, however, public and academic opinion is increasingly swinging in favor of a positive affirmation, but, even though China’s labor shortage and the wage inflation of ordinary workers have proven to be both undeniable and irreversible, scholars and policy researchers still disagree on the implications of such a change in the development stage. Some economists additionally reject the Lewisian theory of dual economy development in general, and further question its applicability to the Chinese economy in particular. For example, some scholars suggest that, in studying the transition of the Chinese economy, an alternative approach—that is, the neoclassical theory of economic development— should be used instead. Such studies not only criticize the Lewisian hypothesis of “zero marginal product of labor,” but also deny the existence of surplus labor in the Chinese economy (Ge and Yang, 2011).
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.