Coase Discusses Latest Book with AEI Online Magazine

How China Became Capitalist
Nick Schulz
The American
November 14, 2012

Editor's note: Nobel Prize–winning economist Ronald Coase and Professor Ning Wang are the authors of a new book, "How China Became Capitalist." The book outlines China’s 30-year transition from a closed, communist, agrarian economy to a rapidly growing industrial economy. THE AMERICAN Editor-in-Chief Nick Schulz recently asked the authors about the transformation of the Chinese economy, the legacy of the Tiananmen massacre, and why “capitalism with Chinese characteristics is impoverished by the lack of a free market for ideas.”

Nick Schulz: In a famous 1978 communiqué, communist party leaders in China admitted that “one of the serious shortcomings in the structure of economic management is the over-concentration of authority.” What prompted the Chinese leadership to acknowledge this fact and embrace devolving economic authority?

Ronald Coase and Ning Wang: This was not the first time for the Chinese leadership to ackn