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Factions and Finance in China
Elite Conflict and Inflation

$47.99 (C)

  • Date Published: March 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521106474

$ 47.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • How does the Chinese banking sector really work? Nearly all financial institutions in China are managed by members of the Communist Party, yet economists and even those who engage the Chinese banking sector simply do not have a framework with which to analyze the links between banking and politics. Drawing from interviews, statistical analysis, and archival research, this book is the first to develop a framework with which to analyze how elite politics impact both monetary and banking policies. This book serves as an important reference point for all subsequent work on Chinese banking.

    • Explanatory framework for both monetary and banking policy outcomes in China
    • Detailed accounts of how policies are made
    • Thorough description of regulatory structure of banking sector and its historical evolution
    • Introduction to most elite actors in Chinese financial sector, and banking officials
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This impressive new book makes several important contributions: the case studies provide never before available accounts of elite politics, with vivid details of the personal and political differences among top leaders; the model of inflationary cycles provides new insights into how financial policy changed to cool an over-heating economy. It is both a fascinating portrait of elite politics in China and a rigorous test of an analytical model. Most scholars are good at one approach or the other. Shih shows he is equally gifted at both."
    Bruce Dickson, George Washington University

    "Shih offers a political-economic explanation of a dual feature of the post-reform Chinese financial system—an inflationary cycle and a large amount of non-performing loans. This book will make a valuable contribution to understanding the Chinese financial system and the reasons for the lack of reform thereof."
    Chung Lee, University of Hawaii at Manoa

    "In this forthcoming book, Northwestern University Professor Victor Shih presents a compelling alternate framework for a key slice of Chinese politics–economic and financial policy making. He argues that rather than a duel between conservatives and reformists, Chinese policy making represents a series of compromises between a “generalist” faction that derives support from local provincial authorities vying with a “technocrat” faction supported by central government bureaucrats seeking to consolidate control in Beijing...Prof. Shih presents a statistical model that aims to prove his theory, but the book comes to life when he launches into a narrative depicting the post-1978 struggles among China’s political elite...As China’s role in buoying the global economy continues to deepen, building a proper framework for understanding that push and pull in elite politics—and using those tools to foresee possible outcomes of Chinese policy becomes essential. Prof. Shih’s work makes an important contribution to that effort."
    Rick Carew, Dow Jones Newswires, Far Eastern Economic Review

    “Shih’s elegant factional model provides a novel explanation for the monetary and policy fluctuations under Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin…Factions and Finance in China offers an invaluable window into the workings of elite politics in a regime better known for its opacity, and will soon become a staple in literature on China’s contemporary political economy.”
    Kellee S. Tsai, Johns Hopkins University, Perspectives on Politics

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521106474
    • length: 268 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. China's financial performance in comparative perspective
    3. The banking system: flexible institutions and party domination
    4. Factional politics and its financial implications
    5. Factional politics, distribution of loans, and inflationary cycles: several quantitative tests
    6. The collapse of discipline: the first two inflationary cycles and the fiscalization of Chinese banks
    7. The height of the politics of inflation, 1986–1996
    8. The long cycle:
    1998–2006
    9. Concluding discussion.

  • Author

    Victor C. Shih, Northwestern University, Illinois
    Victor C. Shih is a political economist specializing in China at Northwestern University. Born in Hong Kong, Professor Shih immigrated to the United States at the age of 12. He attended the George Washington University on a University Presidential Fellowship and graduated summa cum laude in East Asian Studies with a minor in Economics. He went on to complete his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government at Harvard University. He is the author of numerous articles appearing in academic and business journals, including The China Quarterly and The Far Eastern Economic Review, and advises the private sector on the banking industry in China. His current research concerns the political economy of fiscal transfers in China and Chinese policies toward ethnic minorities.

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