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Barry Naughton on China’s Economic Rise

Barry Naughton on his assessment of what he and his colleagues got right and wrong in looking at China’s economy over the past four decades.
November 10, 2021

Shanghai skyline in 1990 (left) and 2010 (right); images from


Lessons from China’s Economic Rise: what economists expected and what surprised them. Barry Naughton reviews what economists correctly anticipated from China’s economic reforms and what they didn’t expect (and why). He discusses what China’s policies mean for the country’s future and its ties with others. Naughton is an accomplished analyst of China’s economy. His textbooks on China’s economy are the most widely used. His 2011 and 2016 presentations at USCI conferences captured key issues of the moment and anticipated the challenges of today. 


Video is also available on our YouTube channel.

Barry Naughton holds the So Kwanlok Chair of Chinese International Affairs at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego. Prof. Naughton is a prolific author, writing for both specialized and general audiences. He wrote Growing Out of the Plan: Chinese Economic Reform, 1978-1993 and contributed chapters to and edited many other books including Reforming Asian SocialismThe China Circle: Economics and Technology in the PRC, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Holding China Together: Diversity and Integration in the Post-Deng Era. He is the author of the widely-used textbook on China’s economy: The Chinese Economy: Adaptation and Growth (a revision of his earlier The Chinese Economy: Transitions and Growth). In addition to his articles in academic journals, he is a regular contributor to the China Leadership Monitor.

USCI Director Clayton Dube and USC Marshall School of Business Prof. Nan Jia moderated the event. 

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