Aug 7, 2022Liked by Branko Milanovic

"The authors here face a real problem: in order to dismiss Deng, they need to claim that the potential for growth already existed under Mao; but they cannot credit Mao for that potential because they criticize all of his policies. Thus, somehow, that potential has to be shown to have originated in a government that lasted less than ten years, never controlled the entire territory of China, and operated in an entirely different intellectual and global environment more than half-a-century before Deng."

Just found these sentences to be humorous poking at the B-R thesis

Expand full comment

In my experience, Western sources about the communist world - be it the USSR, be it China - are not reliable.

The problem here is not that they're not intellectually capable or not erudite enough, but simply because they can't stay impartial about this subject to save their lives. It is a too emotional subject for the capitalist world scholars to analyze scientifically and objectively - specially for those who were born and raised during the Cold War.

My advice is this: learn Chinese and consult the Chinese sources. China has enough intellectual production about themselves to make any foreign sources obsolete. And I'm including here the World Bank, which is a source hostile to China.

Expand full comment

For a less academic treatment than some of the references mentioned, I argue that the demise of China's private sector, under Xi, have neen greatly exaggerated:


and that there are many ways of looking at SOE's low profitability:


Expand full comment