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China is the largest emerging market and by many measures it is now the largest economy in the world. Given the rapid evolution of the Chinese economy, no guide can stay current for long.

Instead, this syllabus is organized to help a new analyst develop an understanding of recent Chinese economic history, provide context for the most important economic issues, and highlight sources of good information for the future. Though several book chapters are referenced in this syllabus, we mostly include articles due to their timeliness and ease of access. We include several Chinese language sources to help analysts build their vocabulary and because many reports are never translated into English or are translated with a long delay.

The syllabus is organized by the major topics that define the debate around China’s economy. We assume that you have a basic foundation in economics and that you are somewhat familiar with current conditions in China. A common thread between these articles is that they rely on data to separate the “signal from the noise” and dispense with the ideological arguments that often dominate conversations about China.

This syllabus is designed to build understanding of the Chinese economy in a step-by-step fashion based on reading around one document a night five nights a week for four weeks. In total, the key readings add up to roughly 825 pages, suggesting around 40 pages for a night.


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