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09.27.2012 17:49

Why Lin Yifu is Wrong about the Economy

The famed economist caused a stir by backing government-led growth, but a real transformation can only be produced by the private sector
By Liu Shengjun

Lin Yifu has emerged at the center of the latest wave of controversy over Keynesianism. He is probably the most debated contemporary Chinese economist. His reputation comes not only because of his opinions, but also because he was the first Chinese senior vice president of the World Bank.

His first public appearance since retiring from the World Bank in June has caused hot debate in academia because he says the Chinese economy still has the potential to grow by 8 percent annually over the next 20 years.
The reason this opinion is controversial is two-fold. On one hand, most economists think China has crossed a threshold, or in the words of economist Wu Jinglian, a tipping point, after maintaining an average annual growth rate of more than 9 percent for three decades. There is a growing consensus that the previous development model can no longer be sustained.

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