Chapter 5: The global economic crisis as leverage for emerging regional growth paths? Differentiated evidence from China – three years onwards
The Chinese economy has realized high growth rates and a remarkable speed of transition for a period of about 30 years and led scholars assessing its development trajectory to postulate the emergence of a new model of development (Stiglitz, 2008). It suggests that the ongoing transformation of the economy will in the future be based on the breakthrough of innovation in addition to production (Altenburg et al., 2008) and the advent of a knowledge-based society by the year 2020 as envisaged by the long-term planning of the Chinese government (Kroll and Schiller, 2010). The major building blocks of this new growth model can be summarized as (1) sectorial structural change from traditional to modern industrial branches, (2) re-focusing of the export growth model towards the domestic market and (3) upgrading of technological and organizational capabilities of firms. These industry-level determinants are complemented by regional determinants that are shaped to a large degree by different layers of the state and by the national and respective regional innovation systems. Despite these optimistic appraisals, reports of economic turmoil in China during the global economic crisis in 2008–09 seemed to suggest a need for a reconsideration of the optimistic assumptions made so far.
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