Ligang Song

Ligang Song is Professor of Economics in Crawford School of Public Policy, and Director of China Economy Program at The Australian National University (ANU). He received his undergraduate degree in World Economy in Department of Economics at Renmin University of China (RUC), masters degree in International Development at International University of Japan (IUJ), and PhD in Economics at ANU. He teaches graduate courses in Institutional Economics (IDEC8081), and Development Economics (IDEC8003), and supervises a number of PhD students in Crawford School of Public Policy. His research interests include international economics, institutional economics, development economics, and the Chinese economy. Since 1999, he has been a co-editor of the China Update book series with ANU Press and Social Sciences Academy Press of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), and the convener for organising the annual China Update conferences at ANU. His articles on China and international and development issues appeared in journals such as Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv, Journal of Japanese and International Economics, The China Journal, Social Sciences in China, Environment and Development Economics, China Economic Review, Review of Development Economics, The China Economic Journal, and China and World Economy.

orcid http://orcid.org/0000-0002-5700-2352

China’s 40 Years of Reform and Development: 1978–2018 »

Edited by: Ross Garnaut, Ligang Song, Cai Fang
The year 2018 marks 40 years of reform and development in China (1978–2018). This commemorative book assembles some of the world’s most prominent scholars on the Chinese economy to reflect on what has been achieved as a result of the economic reform programs, and to draw out the key lessons that have been learned by the model of growth and development in China over the preceding four decades. This book explores what has happened in the transformation of the Chinese economy in the past 40 years for China itself, as well as for the rest of the world, and discusses the implications of what will happen next in the context of China’s new reform agenda. Focusing on the long-term development strategy amid various old and new challenges that face the economy, this book sets the scene for what the world can expect in China’s fifth decade of reform and development. A key feature of this book is its comprehensive coverage of the key issues involved in China’s economic reform and development. Included are discussions of China’s 40 years of reform and development in a global perspective; the political economy of economic transformation; the progress of marketisation and changes in market-compatible institutions; the reform program for state-owned enterprises; the financial sector and fiscal system reform, and its foreign exchange system reform; the progress and challenges in economic rebalancing; and the continuing process of China’s global integration. This book further documents and analyses the development experiences including China’s large scale of migration and urbanisation, the demographic structural changes, the private sector development, income distribution, land reform and regional development, agricultural development, and energy and climate change policies.

China's New Sources of Economic Growth: Vol. 2 »

Human Capital, Innovation and Technological Change

Edited by: Ligang Song, Ross Garnaut, Cai Fang, Lauren Johnston
China’s efforts in searching for new sources of growth are increasingly pressing given the persistence of the growth slowdown in recent years. This year’s book elucidates key present macroeconomic challenges facing China’s economy in 2017, and the impacts and readiness of human capital, innovation and technological change in affecting the development of China’s economy. The book explores the development of human capital as the foundations of China’s push into more advanced growth frontiers. It also explores the progress of productivity improvement in becoming the primary mechanism by which China can sustain economic growth, and explains the importance of China’s human capital investments to success on this front. The book demonstrates that technical change is a major contributor to productivity growth; and that invention and innovation are increasingly driving technical change but so far lumpily across regions, sectors and invention motivations. Included are chapters providing an update on reform and macroeconomic development, educational inequality, the role of intangibles in determining China’s economic growth, and China’s progress in transitioning towards being an innovative country. The book also covers the regional dimension of innovation and technological progress by sector: in agricultural productivity, renewable energy and financial markets. Chapters on trade, investment, regional cooperation and foreign aid explore further the mechanisms through which technological change and innovative activities are emerging locally and internationally.

China's New Sources of Economic Growth: Vol. 1 »

Reform, Resources and Climate Change

Edited by: Ligang Song, Ross Garnaut, Cai Fang, Lauren Johnston
China’s change to a new model of growth, now called the ‘new normal’, was always going to be hard. Events over the past year show how hard it is. The attempts to moderate the extremes of high investment and low consumption, the correction of overcapacity in the heavy industries that were the mainstays of the old model of growth, the hauling in of the immense debt hangover from the fiscal and monetary expansion that pulled China out of the Great Crash of 2008 would all have been hard at any time. They are harder when changes in economic policy and structure coincide with stagnation in global trade and rising protectionist sentiment in developed countries, extraordinarily rapid demographic change and recognition of the urgency of easing the environmental damage from the old model. China’s economy has slowed and there are worries that the authorities will not be able to contain the slowdown within preferred limits. This year’s Update explores the challenge of the slowdown in growth and the change in economic structure. Leading experts on China’s economy and environment review change within China’s new model of growth, and its interaction with ageing, environmental pressure, new patterns of urbanisation, and debt problems at different levels of government. It illuminates some new developments in China’s economy, including the transformational potential of internet banking, and the dynamics of financial market instability. China’s economic development since 1978 is full of exciting change, and this year’s China Update is again the way to know it as it is happening

China's Domestic Transformation in a Global Context »

Edited by: Ligang Song, Ross Garnaut, Cai Fang, Lauren Johnston
The phrase ‘New Normal’ captures the ongoing shift in the pattern and drivers of China’s economic growth. China’s new growth rate is both slower and imposing difficult structural change. These new economic conditions are challenging yet offer opportunities for China and its economic partners. Reforms must be deepened but also make growth more inclusive and environmentally sustainable, over this decade and beyond. This year’s Update offers both global context and domestic insight into this challenging new phase of China’s domestic economic transformation. How are policymakers elevating migrant workers concurrent with increasing consumption? Is China’s government spending enough on education and R&D to ensure it can achieve its aspirations to ascend the global manufacturing value chain and avoid the middle-income trap? Are energy market reforms reducing or increasing the price of gas and electricity in China? What are the consequences of China’s financial reforms and expanding Renminbi trading for foreign banks? What does China’s new growth model mean for the international resources economy and for Africa? Do SOEs face market conditions and are they dominating China’s fast-rising outbound investment? What is China’s strategy for navigating fragmented international trade policy negotiations?

Deepening Reform for China's Long-term Growth and Development »

Edited by: Ross Garnaut, Cai Fang, Ligang Song
The Chinese economy has entered a new phase of development in which sources of growth are not so much dependent upon pure increases in labour, investment and credit expansion, but from productivity improvement, structural changes, technological progress and the benefits from improvement of the social security and welfare improvement. When market functions are fully established to become a main channel for allocating resources, the entrepreneurship will flourish engaging in more innovative activities, workers will move more freely and have more incentives to improve their skills, firms will become more productive through market entry and exit, the economic structure will become more balanced because of the improved resource allocation, and in the end, growth will become more spontaneous and sustainable. In this sense, reforms could deliver ‘dividend’ by raising China’s potential economic growth rates. For China to confront all the challenges it faces at present, the reforms undertaken now have to be deep, comprehensive and far-reaching in order to succeed in paving the way for China to complete the task of transformation in the long-term. There is no better alternative than deepening the market-oriented reform in advancing the course of China’s modernisation for future development and prosperity and lifting China to the status of a developed economy in the next two decades. The recent China update books have covered the topic of reform from different angles and this new book is another attempt to address this important issue.

China: A New Model for Growth and Development »

Edited by: Ross Garnaut, Cai Fang, Ligang Song
The Chinese economy is undergoing profound change in policy and structure. The change is necessary to increase the value of growth to the Chinese community, and to sustain growth into the future. The changes are so comprehensive and profound that they represent a new model of Chinese economic growth. This book describes the replacement of an old uninhibited investment expansion model of growth, by transition to modern economic growth and provides insights into recent changes and where they are likely to lead. These include requirements for building the new institutions including its public finances for future growth, adjustments in its savings, industry and agriculture, changes in its demographic structure, business environment, and pattern of rural-urban migration, prospects for ‘green growth’, its energy policy trilemma and the climate change mitigation strategy, and changes for China’s interaction with the international economy through its overseas investment and trade in high tech products. China’s adoption of a new model of economic growth is of immense importance to people in China and everywhere. This book is an early attempt to take a close look at many of the features of the new model.

APEC and liberalisation of the Chinese economy »

Edited by: Peter Drysdale, Zhang Yunling, Ligang Song
“China is so large that its trading interests and influence are global. But its interests are disproportionately powerful in its immediate Western Pacific and Asia Pacific partners. The evolution of China’s economic relationships with its Asia Pacific partners, in which APEC came to play a significant role in the 1990s, is thus a central part of the story of China’s rapidly growing and changing interaction with the global economy.” - Ross Garnaut APEC is an important forum through which China can demonstrate its commitment to economic openness. APEC has also been an important vehicle for China’s trade liberalisation on the way towards accession to the WTO. In facilitating trade liberalisation, APEC and the WTO are mutually reinforcing. APEC prepares China for the WTO and WTO accession encourages China’s active participation in the APEC process. Both APEC membership and WTO accession help with the huge task of China’s domestic reform. This book sets out China’s strategic interests in APEC in the lead-up to the APEC summit in Shanghai in 2001. Contributors include leading Chinese economists from the APEC Policy Research Centre in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences–Zhang Yunling, Zhang Jianjun, Sun Xuegong, Li Kai, Chen Luzhi, Zhou Xiaobing, Zhao Jianglin–and from the Asia Pacific School of Economics and Management at The Australian National University–Peter Drysdale, Ligang Song, Ross Garnaut, Christopher Findlay, Andrew Elek, Yongzheng Yang, Yiping Huang, K.P. Kalirajan, Hadi Soesastro and Chen Chunlai. This work, originally published by Asia Pacific Press, is reproduced here in the interests of maintaining open access to high-quality academic works no longer in print.

China 2002 »

WTO entry and world recession

In 2002 China enters the WTO. Long awaited by the world’s trading economies, it now comes in a year of global recession. What effect will China’s entry into the WTO have at a difficult time? The rapid expansion of China’s trade has required large adjustment in its trading partners, and the expansion and adjustment will accelerate with WTO entry. The internal adjustment pressures in China from WTO entry are also immense. Recently dubbed Australia’s Ambassador to the region by Rowan Callick of the Financial Review, Ross Garnaut was Australia’s ambassador to China through an earlier exciting period when China took its first major steps towards opening to international trade and investment. He was instrumental in the development of China’s thinking about the WTO. Ross Garnaut is Chairman of the China Economy and Business Program at The Australian National University. Australian members of the Program and their associates gather each year for the China Update. Ligang Song is leading authority on the internationalisation of the Chinese economy and on the development of the private sector in China. He has worked at Peking University and People’s University in Beijing and at the International University in Tokyo. This work, originally published by Asia Pacific Press, is reproduced here in the interests of maintaining open access to high-quality academic works no longer in print.

China: New Engine of World Growth »

Twenty-five years of reform have transformed China from a centrally planned and closed system to a predominantly market-driven and open economy. As a consequence, China is emerging as the new powerhouse for the world economy. China: new engine for world growth discusses the impact and significance of this transformation. It points out risks to the growth process and unfinished tasks of reform. It presents conclusions from recent research on growth, trade and investment, the financial sector, income and regional disparities, industrial location and private sector development. This work, originally published by Asia Pacific Press, is reproduced here in the interests of maintaining open access to high-quality academic works no longer in print.

China: Twenty Years of Economic Reform »

China: Twenty Years of Reform outlines the experiences of China over the past two decades.  It highlights the processes of reform, successes achieved, and problems faced during the economic transition. “China, and its relations with the international community, have been transformed. China’s economy has expanded five times, and its foreign trade by twelve. It has greatly increased consumption levels of what had been about half of the world’s people in poverty.” - Ross Garnaut “Tremendous progress has been made over the past twenty years, but much more needs to be done in setting up a more open, efficient and transparent trade system, in line with the requirements of the WTO.” - Ligang Song “Radical reform is neither in China’s tradition, nor is it an easy task. Given the difficulties of the reform task and the structure of the political economy, it will probably take a few more years for China to accomplish SOE reform and reforms in other areas.” - Yiping Huang “The most remarkable aspect of China’s agricultural reform was it’s “spillover” effect. Non-agricultural activities in rural China sprang up immediately after the reforms began—the gross output value of TVEs grew at 24 per cent per annum from 1978 to 1995 and employment grew at 9 per cent per annum.” - Yongzheng Yang  This work, originally published by Asia Pacific Press, is reproduced here in the interests of maintaining open access to high-quality academic works no longer in print.

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