August 09, 2015

“The main point of our findings is that, contrary to common misconceptions, productivity growth under Mao, particularly in the non-agricultural sector, was actually pretty good.”

Financial Times “Our model is essentially an accounting exercise that allows us to uncover the key factors of growth in China during and after the Mao era,” said Aleh Tsyvinski, a professor of economics at Yale and co-author of the report. by Jamil Anderlini

'Assuming a continuation of current policies, the paper predicts the Chinese economy will expand 7-8 per cent for the next 10 years or so, with growth slowing to 5.2 per cent on average between 2024 and 2036 and then a rate of just 3.6 per cent between 2036 and 2050.

'That is actually slower than the growth rate of 3.9 per cent it predicts between 2036 and 2050 if China were to return to Maoist policies introduced in the aftermath of the disastrous Great Leap Forward, in which between 30m and 40m died in a famine that was largely the result of economic mismanagement.

'The authors of the paper were focused only on economic factors and did not consider the impact of individual policies or the enormous social costs of Mao Zedong’s “brutal” political movements and purges, which left many millions dead, ostracised or imprisoned in gulags.'

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