China Economic Reforms

Submitted by: Submitted by

Views: 600

Words: 5380

Pages: 22

Category: Other Topics

Date Submitted: 02/24/2011 06:51 AM

Report This Essay

Economic Reforms, Poverty and Inequality in China and India

By Pranab Bardhan


In various writings over the years Amartya Sen has shown his acute interest in comparative performance of China and India, the two largest countries of the world, both with poor, agrarian economies and with rich, ancient civilizations. While high economic growth in both countries in the last decades has attracted a lot of attention, particularly in the international financial press, Sen’s interest has usually been more in issues relating to poverty, inequality, and gender inequities in general, and health and education matters in particular, in both countries. At various times his thoughts on the better achievements of China in literacy and life expectation than India, on the era of market reform in China coinciding with the decline of basic public health services there, democratic Kerala’s better demographic performance (significantly linked with female education) achieving more than China’s coercive one-child policy, the ‘missing women’ in both China and India attributed to gender discrimination, China doing much better than India in

relieving ‘endemic hunger’ while democracy and freer media in India helping in averting catastrophes like the Great Famine in China in the early sixties--- these have all become headlines in the development folklore. Even in his piece(Sen 2004)on the cultural and intellectual links between China and India in the first millennium, he does not forget to emphasize the interest of Chinese visitors to ancient India in the public health care system and the tradition of democratic dialogue and public discussion that Buddhism carried to China. In this short essay I’ll follow

in this comparative tradition and focus on the poverty and inequality impact of economic reform in the two countries and their interaction in the political process.


In the last quarter century a great deal of reforms have taken place in both China and India, in market...