CACS Occasional Paper no 9

‘Catching Up After Half a Millennium’: Jeffrey Sachs on the Chinese Development Model

Bhaso Ndzendze, Research Director, UJ Centre for Africa-China Studies

This paper reviews the portrayal of Chinese economic history and more recent economic policy in the book The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time (2005) by the renowned American economist Jeffrey Sachs, specifically in a chapter entitled ‘Catching Up After Half a Millennium’. It traverses Sachs’s insights about past developments as well as future directions in China, particularly in respect of public health and the country’s east-west and north-south inequalities; and his comparative analysis of the economic reform attempts of China and the former Soviet sphere, and their differentiated outcomes. Therefore, the paper offers a meta-analysis of the convergence of Sachs’ analyses as they relate to other literature as well as empirical evidence not referred to or contrary to predictions made in the text some fifteen years after its publication.

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