Monday, December 10, 2007

Deepak Bhattasali on China

Deepak Bhattasali from the World Bank gave a nice talk here at GW tonight to officials from Wuhan and Shaoxing. Some takeaways I got:

(1) The unevenness of China's income distribution is approaching the US. Part of the reason for this is that internal migration is still stunted by government policy. The lack of labor mobility means that skilled labor that happens to already be in manufacturing cities commands a premium.

(2) With five levels of government, China may overdo federalism just a bit.

(3) Banks have to learn modern underwriting techniques. The ratio of GDP growth to investment in China is much lower than it is in India. In light of how poor India's infrastructure is, and how good China's is, this is remarkable. (My own view--China needs private sector banks).

(4) China has cut its poverty by 3/4 in less than 20 years. This is breathtaking.

Deepak is an engaging and informative speaker.

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