Three Essays on China's Political Economy, Environmental Policy, and Green Job Guarantee
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This dissertation contributes to the study of the Chinese economy by elaborating China’s alternative economic system, examining the evolution of Chinese environmental policies, and proposing a Chinese Green Job Guarantee. Delineating China’s political economy post-1949, I challenge the Eurocentric interpretation of China’s post-1978 economic reform as an incomplete and ongoing transition and argue that the Chinese economy, instead of transitioning, has transformed into a distinct type of market economy. To understand the Chinese economy, the question to ask is not whether China today is capitalist or socialist, or whether the Chinese government is interfering too much with the market, but rather what kind of a market economy could best fulfill the developmental vision set by the Chinese state. Echoing this finding, I illustrate that the Chinese environmental policies have evolved from contradiction to synthesis since 2005, and hence the Chinese state has been and likely will be shaping China’s environmental landscape more responsibly and effectively into the future. Finally, I demonstrate that the Chinese state should and can implement a Green Job Guarantee program to coordinate economic growth, full employment, structural adjustments, and environmental sustainability. In 2019, increasing China’s fiscal deficit by 1.58% of GDP would have financed a complete Job Guarantee to eliminate China’s 24.27 million urban unemployment and elevate the country’s GDP growth rate to the 9.23% and 10.65% range.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Transformation, not transition: a critical survey of China's political economy -- China's ecological civilization: from contradiction to synthesis -- Green job guarantee for China-from full employment to economic growth and environmental sustainability -- Conclusion
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)