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Part of the book series: Comparative Government and Politics ((CGP))

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The effect of reform on social policy has been no less dramatic than on economic policy. Reforms have produced new inequalities, a dramatic rise in the disparity between welfare provision in rural and urban China, and an abandonment of the compact for cradle-to-grave social welfare for the privileged industrial working class. While the reforms may have raised the standard of living for the vast majority and shifted China along the road to a market economy, China’s policymakers have not been so successful in devising policies to bridge the social transition. In this respect China has fared no better than other transitional economies where economic gains have not been matched by significant improvements in welfare provision (Kornai, 1997, p. 273). This is not surprising as reforms entailing major institutional change are inherently slower and more complex than macroeconomic stabilization and liberalization measures (Nelson, 1997, p. 256).

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© 2001 Tony Saich

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Saich, T. (2001). Social Policy. In: Governance and Politics of China. Comparative Government and Politics. Palgrave, London.

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