China's Growth to 2030: The Roles of Demographic Change and Financial Reform
Australian National University (ANU) - School of Economics
Australian National University (ANU) - Faculty of Economics & Commerce
Review of Development Economics, Vol. 14, Issue 3, pp. 592-610, August 2010
China's economic growth has, hitherto, depended on its relative abundance of production labor and its increasingly secure investment environment. Within the next decade, however, China's labor force will begin to contract. This will set its economy apart from other developing Asian countries where relative labor abundance will increase, as will relative capital returns. Unless there is a substantial change in population policy, the retention of China's large share of global FDI will require further improvements in its investment environment. These linkages are explored using a global economic model that incorporates full demographic behavior. Financial reform is measured by the effect of declining intermediation costs on the wedge between home and foreign borrowing rates, or the “investment premium.” The influence of this wedge on China's projected economic growth performance is investigated under alternative assumptions about fertility decline and labor force growth. China's share of global investment is found to depend sensitively on both its demography and its interest premium, though the results suggest that a feasible continuation of financial reforms will be sufficient to compensate for a slowdown and decline in its labor force.