The Economy of the Chinese Mainland

National Income and Economic Development, 1933-1959 (Supplement)

by Dazhong Liu, K. C. Yeh, Chong Twanmo

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An alternative interpretation of problems discussed in Chapter V of the original study, RM-3519. Investment in basic construction is redefined and new calculations of investment in working capital are presented. A quantitative study of the economic development of the Chinese Mainland during 1952-1959, and a comparison of changes over this period with the condition of the pre-Communist and prewar Chinese Mainland economy in the 1930s. The method is that of national income accounting: detailed estimates of domestic product by industrial origin, and domestic expenditures by end use are derived for the years 1933 and 1952 through 1957. Very tentative estimates are offered for 1958-1959. Major findings are: (1) Net domestic product is estimated to have grown in 1952-1957 at an average annual rate of 6 percent in 1952 prices. (2) Widely divergent growth rates are found. For factories, mining, construction they range from 17 to 23 percent, but agricultural output is estimated to have increased by 1.7 percent. (3) Lack of reliable data rules out anything but conjectural estimates of changes in domestic products in 1958-1959. However, there is reason to believe that the Communist claim of increases in national income by 34 percent in 1958 and 22 percent in 1959 is grossly exaggerated.

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