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Issue 41 (January 1999)
CCPTM & ADCULT PRC
This paper offers a perspective on mainland Chinese popular culture - both official and mass market - by focusing on certain aspects of the evolution and manipulation of contemporary advertising. In particular, it discusses some of the issues arising from the intersection of advertising and popular culture on the one hand, and politics and propaganda on the other. In exploring this, the paper ventures some observations on the impact of commercial culture upon the mechanisms through which the Chinese Communist Party is promoted and promotes itself within the public media. Of particular interest here is the role played by influences from abroad and by China's home-grown 'avant-garde' in the Party's remoulded image-making.
Lance L.P. Gore
The Communist Legacy in Post-Mao Economic Growth
China's post-Mao hyper-growth has significantly benefited from its communist institutions. Decentralization and opening up markets within the communist hierarchy have enabled local state actors to redirect communist institutions to pursue market opportunities, thus fuelling a spectacular growth. However, state-led growth also helps to preserve the inherent weaknesses of the Stalinist system. Once market returns decline, existing institutions will no longer be able to sustain a strong growth.
Margaret Maurer-Fazio, Thomas G. Rawski and Wei Zhang
Inequality in the Rewards for Holding Up Half the Sky: Gender Wage Gaps in China's Urban Labour Market, 1988-1994
Chinese attitudes toward the treatment of men and women in the work- place reflect two divergent perspectives. The legacy of China's past includes a strong tendency to favour male over female workers, while over the last four decades China's government has vigorously propagated an ideology of gender equality. This article applies econometric methods to a large body of data on average wages and the number and share of female employees to investigate disparities between men's and women's wages in China's urban, formal labour markets during the period 1988-1994. Our results demonstrate the presence of substantial, persistent and large (relative to available international comparisons) gaps between men's and women's wages in the People's Republic of China during this period. We find no evidence of a tendency for this gap to decline. On the contrary, calculations based on the whole data set and on data for state and collective employers all indicate expanding inequality between men's and women's earnings.
Gregory W. Noble
Opportunity Lost: Partisan Incentives and the 1997 Constitutional Revisions in Taiwan
While Taiwan has experienced a remarkably smooth transition to democracy, a clear and stable constitutional order has not yet taken root. The fourth round of constitutional revisions completed in July 1997 failed to strengthen the Legislative Yuan, reform an electoral system prone to factionalism and defiance of party discipline, or resolve crucial ambiguities about whether the President or the Legislative Yuan will control the Cabinet. Efforts by the president and the leading parties to pursue further structural reforms face significant obstacles.
Thomas G. Rawski
Reforming China's Economy: What Have We Learned?
Economists studying socialist transition have established a paradigmatic view that emphasizes flexible prices, openness to international trade, minimal government intervention in market operations, and private ownership of productive resources. China's economy, the largest and best performing transition economy, deviates widely from this approach. This article explores the conflict between standard prescriptions and Chinese reality. The author concludes that gradual reform is unavoidable, that partially reformed systems can generate huge growth spurts, that economists overstate the importance of ownership, and that the institutional structures of market systems are far more complex than most observers imagine.