Book cover of China's Gilded Age by Yuen Yuen Ang
Asia

China’s Gilded Age

Why has China grown so fast for so long despite vast corruption? In China’s Gilded Age, Yuen Yuen Ang maintains that all corruption is harmful, but not all types of corruption hurt growth. Ang unbundles corruption into four varieties: petty theft, grand theft, speed money, and access money. While the first three types impede growth, access money – elite exchanges of power and profit – cuts both ways: it stimulates investment and growth but produces serious risks for the economy and political system. Since market opening, corruption in China has evolved toward access money. […Learn More]

Book cover of How China Escaped the Poverty Trap by Yuen Yuen Ang
Asia

How China Escaped the Poverty Trap

How can poor and weak societies escape poverty traps? Political economists have traditionally offered three answers: “stimulate growth first,” “build good institutions first,” or “some fortunate nations inherited good institutions that led to growth.”

Yuen Yuen Ang rejects all three schools of thought and their underlying assumptions: linear causation, a mechanistic worldview, and historical determinism. Instead, she launches a new paradigm grounded in complex adaptive systems, which embraces the reality of interdependence and humanity’s capacity to innovate. […Learn More]