Three decades have passed since China dramatically opened up to the global market and began to catch up rapidly with leading economies. In this paper we discuss the effects of China's opening-up and rapid growth on the welfare of both China and the rest of the world (ROW). We find that the opening-up per se is welfare improving for China but has had little impact on the ROW. The opening-up of China is beneficial to the ROW if it led to significant productivity growth in China. Furthermore, China's balanced trade policy after the opening-up has helped the ROW rather than China. Hence, according to a simple neoclassical model with complete markets, a gradual trade liberalization in China is prefereble to a drastic one from the ROW perspective.
chinese growth reform and opening-up productivity terms of trade