Wu Jinglian

The first sentence of this MIT Press book — entitled Wu Jinglian — reads “Wu Jinglian is widely acknowledged to be China’s most influential and celebrated economist.”

Almost every page of this book is insightful on Chinese economics or politics or usually both together.  And it will remind you that China is still ruled by the Communist Party.  Wu Jinglian is a fan of James M. Buchanan and Douglass C. North, by the way.  Here is Wu Jinglian on Wikipedia.



As a fan of Buchanan, his wiki bio states that he has a resolute conviction that socialism is compatible with a market system. Just like Buchanan?

When life gives you lemons....

I believed same when I was a kid.

Context is everything.

In America, saying "socialism is compatible with a market system" means "let's get us some socialism!"

In China, the same statement probably means "I would like to advocate for a free market without it being construed as radical anti-government rhetoric".

I believe it's "compatible" in the sense that I don't feel the need to go attack California militarily.

Oh, the economist, not the 15th president....

Here is a 2009 NYT story on him: China’s Mr. Wu Keeps Talking

He has been more prominent since the reform camp ascended.

You forgot the quotes around reform camp.

Born in 1930, says wikipedia. This guy was 19 when the Communists won the civil war, lived through the Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, and market reforms and takeoff. Chinese of a certain age have the best claim on having seen it all.

This is my favorite living Chinese economist, by the way.

Dear Tyler:

Actually, my personal opinion is that Professor Steven N S Cheung's (of the Fable of the Bees fame) views on China are far more insightful. A couple of years ago, he has a small monograph out explaining the institutional foundation of China's impressive economic growth since reform began in 1978.

It is only available in kindle version on Amazon's China site, the book is actually written in English, with a foreword by Ronald Coase.


I <3 Cheung, his Hong Kong parking lot scheme, and his fake antiques.

Thanks for the recommendation. I have a bet with Sumner whether China will pass Mexico in PPP GDP per capita by 2038. As much as I enjoy Glenmorangie, I suppose I have to hope I lose that bet...

But I don't think I will, the incentives are becoming misaligned as the Chicom oligarchs settle into their new wealth, and they are firmly in control. People are always surprised to hear China still has that old Communist staple, the Five Year Plan.


As someone who partly grew up on the Mexican border, I hope you win that bet

Not being mean, but out of pure curiosity, what's the actuarial probability that all three of you, Sumner and Glenmorangie are around in 2038 to see this bet settled.

Prop bet?

Comments for this post are closed