Gargi and VP Dutt Memorial Lecture | China’s Economic Slowdown: Structural, Cyclical and Systemic | 3rd April 2024@6PM IST Venue-Conference Room - I, India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi.

03 Apr 2024
Barry Naughton
Venue: Conference Room - I, India International Centre (IIC), New Delhi
Time: 6:00 PM

China’s economy post-COVID has performed significantly below expectations. In part, this reflects the fading of conditions for super-rapid growth and the difficulty of forging appropriate short-term policies under new conditions. The ongoing real estate crisis exemplifies these structural and cyclical factors. Less immediately obvious is the on-going politicization of the economy that has weakened economic incentives and undermined business and household confidence. China’s economy can recover, but only with substantial policy changes, which Chinese policymakers are not yet willing to accept.


About the Speaker

Barry Naughton is an American economist, an expert on the Chinese economy, and the So Kwan Lok Professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy (GPS), University of California, San Diego. Naughton is known for his balanced approach to analyzing the Chinese economy, combining rigorous economic analysis with an understanding of the political and social context of China.

Naughton’s work on the Chinese economy covers four areas: market transition and system change; industry and technology policy; foreign trade; and political economy. His first book, Growing Out of the Plan: Chinese Economic Reform, 1978-1993, won the prestigious Ohira Prize in 1996. A second edition of his popular survey and textbook, The Chinese Economy: Adaptation and Growth, appeared in 2018. His recent publication is The Rise of China’s Industrial Policy, 1978-2020. Naughton is also the editor of a number of volumes, including State Capitalism, Institutional Adaptation and the Chinese Miracle (2015, with Kellee Tsai) and Wu Jinglian: Voice of Reform in China (2013). Naughton is the co-lead—with Tai Ming Cheung, the head of the University of California’s Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation—a research program on China’s technology and industrial policy.

Naughton has written many scholarly articles on the Chinese economy, and his work has been cited over 19,000 times, according to Google Scholar. His co-authored pieces with Groves, Hong, and McMillan in The Quarterly Journal of Economics (1994) and the Journal of Political Economy (1995) were the first to use enterprise-level data in China—collected by a direct survey instrument—and described the incentive structure re-shaping state enterprise behavior at that time. He has a cluster of articles relating to regional development issues in China, including his early article “The Third Front” which was the first to describe China’s program of inland industrialization during the crisis years of 1964-1971. Between 2002 and 2018, Naughton wrote quarterly commentary on the Chinese economy for the Chinese Leadership Monitor. These tracked and analyzed the changes in China’s economic system from the successes of the early 2000s through the reform slowdown and retrenchment of more recent years.

Naughton earned a B.A. in Chinese Language and Literature at the University of Washington. He did his dissertation research in China in 1982, and received his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University in 1986. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Tsinghua University School of Public Policy and Management in the Fall of 2012 and again in the Fall of 2013. He is currently coordinator of GPS’s MCEPA Program (Master’s in Chinese Economic and Political Affairs). He lives in Encinitas, California.

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