Perspectives from the Asia-Pacific
Edited by Matthew Tonts and M. A.B. Siddique
Yanrui Wu and Zhao Dingtao INTRODUCTION Since the commencement of economic reforms in 1978, China has enjoyed unprecedented economic growth. This growth has boosted China’s economic power substantially, with the country now having the world’s third-largest economy according to the official exchange rate, or the second-largest if income is measured in purchasing power parity rates.1 Associated with this growth is China’s rapid integration with the world economy. This is reflected in the fact that the country has been one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment (FDI) and was the world’s second-largest exporter in 2007. This chapter aims to provide an assessment of the impact of global integration on agricultural performance in China, and hence explore the question of whether agricultural growth is sustainable or not. Understanding this question is not only important for China, but it also has implications for the rest of the world, as Chinese agriculture provides food for the largest populace in the world. To answer this question, one has to explore the role of total factor productivity (TFP) in agricultural growth. This is essentially the objective of this chapter. Specifically, this study presents a review of the productivity debate in the context of China and hence new evidence of the contribution of total factor productivity to agricultural growth. The next section of the chapter provides a brief discussion about China’s integration with the world. This is followed by a review of productivity studies, particularly studies of agricultural productivity in China. The analytical framework and...
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