The "Occasional Papers" series seeks to disseminate the work carried out by the Banco de España within its sphere of competence that is considered to be of general interest.
The opinions and analyses published in "Occasional Papers" are the responsibility of the authors and are not necessarily shared by the Banco de España or the Eurosystem.
In this paper we provide an overview of the growth model in China and its prospects, taking a medium-run to long-run perspective. Our main conclusions are as follows. First, the still prevailing producer-biased model of managed capitalism in China tends to engender, as an inherent byproduct, serious imbalances which cannot be unwound without a fundamental overhaul of the model itself. Second, given the lack of a critical mass of economic reforms thus far, imbalances may (re-)escalate once global and domestic economic conditions normalise. Third, the fundamental factors underpinning growth in China are likely to remain supportive, at least over the medium run. Although this could help mitigate the economic costs of imbalances for some time to come, it could also reduce the incentives for policymakers to enact much needed reforms. Fourth, delayed policy action and the persistence of the model of growth cum imbalances would increase the risk of China getting caught in the middle-income trap in the long run. Greater political will to redirect China’s growth model towards a more sustainable path is therefore needed.