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Re-examination of the Lewis turning point : the case of China

English Abstract

Abstract of thesis entitled “Re-examination of the Lewis Turning Point: the Case of China”, submitted by Yang Min (M-B1-5629-3) for the degree of Master of Social Sciences in Economics at the University of Macau in October 2013. Using panel data in provincial level covering 30 provinces and 31 years from 1980 to 2010, this research re-examines China’s Lewis turning point considering regional variation. Study begins with Lewis growth model. Then this study reviews previous applications of the Lewis’ theory to other economies and current arguments on the Chinese case. To retest China’s Lewis turning point, this study concerns special features of China. The agriculture in rural area is viewed as rural sector and the rest is urban sector in this research. The study uses Minami’s criterion one which focuses on relationship between marginal product of labour and wage in rural sector. Marginal product of labour is estimated from preferred Translog production function fixed effect model with varying elasticities of labour across provinces and years. Wage is substituted by real household operational net income per worker in rural sector. The results show that marginal product of labour and wages are distributed unevenly among three regions. Performance of the Lewis turning point is proved to be various across the whole economy, the east, the center and the west. Differentials between these two variables are given by three indicators: difference value, ratio and fitted trend. The results suggest that the whole economy has reached its Lewis turning point around 2010. The arrival timing of eastern Lewis turning point is earlier, about 2008. The center has gone through a period from 2003 to 2010, not an exact timing point. The west has not passed its Lewis turning point yet.

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Yang, Min


Faculty of Social Sciences




China -- Economic conditions -- 2000-

Economics -- Department of Economics



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