Reviews and interviews

The Economist (April 30, 2016)

China’s Economy: Neither a bull nor a bear be

“Arthur Kroeber’s book….launches an assault, albeit courteously worded, on conventional wisdom….What emerges is a nuanced take on an economy facing serious challenges, ones that do not spell its collapse but could prove intractable all the same.”

Read the full review (metered paywall)


The Diplomat interview (August 2016)

Going beyond the conventional wisdom on China’s economy, Arthur Kroeber looks at the promise and pitfalls of continued growth

“China’s economy today faces the same problem that every developing country must face at some point….Growth has to come not from accumulating capital, but from generating a higher return from the capital that’s already in place. This transition is hard and always takes a long time. China has made decent progress so far….A 5 percent average growth rate over the next decade would be a terrific achievement, and more than enough to ensure healthy growth in jobs and wages.”

Read the full interview (paywall)


Sinica podcast interview (June 17, 2016)

Arthur Kroeber vs. The Conventional Wisdom

“Arthur’s new book, China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know, superbly explores China’s astonishing expansion during the ‘reform and opening up’ period and the challenges the country now faces as growth slows. He provides a clear-eyed take on a huge range of subjects, from the internationalization of the renminbi to local debt to the way China’s state-owned enterprises function (or don’t). The book is a refreshing antidote to much of the commentary in the media, where “The Conventional Wisdom” we discuss in the podcast consists of doomsayers predicting China’s imminent collapse and Pollyannas who see the country as an unstoppable economic juggernaut.”

Listen to the podcast


Reuters Breakingviews review (June 17, 2016)

Mapping China’s economy for outsiders

“Few outside observers fully grasp the competing interests and political bargains that have underpinned China’s meteoric rise over the last three decades. Kroeber pulls back the curtain to offer a clearer look at what he describers as ‘the constant swirl of a billion people competing for personal advantage’ in fields, factories and the financial system–and how all these pieces fit together.”

Read the full review (subscription required)


Mercator Institute of China Studies podcast interview (June 9, 2016)

China’s economic policies lack clarity and direction

“With the right economic policies China could continue to grow at 5% a year for another decade says Arthur Kroeber….But Xi Jinping’s economic policies lack clarity and direction. China still depends too much on stimulus measures and credit to keep the economy going.”

Listen to the podcast


Council on Foreign Relations podcast interview (May 10, 2016)

What Everyone Needs To Know About China’s Economy 

“Kroeber argues that the Chinese leadership’s contradictory belief in both a ‘decisive’ role for markets and a ‘dominant’ state sector has not yet been resolved and is the fundamental barrier to economic progress.”

Listen to the podcast


New York Times Q&A (May 6, 2016)

Interview with New York Times and New York Review of Books China correspondent Ian Johnson, focusing on technology and innovation.

Read the interview


Quartz Q&A (May 4, 2016)

What Everyone Needs To Know About China’s Debt Load

Interview with Quartz finance and economics reporter Matt Phillips, focusing on the debt problem.

Read the interview


Australian Financial Review (March 30, 2016)

The Big China Short – Why We Should Ignore The White Noise

“Kroeber argues that Beijing must look to a new model which emphasises ‘efficiency rather than scale.’….The central question is whether the Communist Party and its increasingly authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, can relinquish sufficient control over the economy to allow it to grow at elevated levels over the next decade.”

Read the full review


Advance praise for China’s Economy: What Everyone Needs to Know

“Arthur Kroeber has written a rare, clear-eyed depiction of how the Chinese economy really works, and how it doesn’t. By disentangling the embedded legacies of the political system from the more fluid day-to-day policy making, Kroeber illustrates the tightrope that Beijing’s leaders have to walk in managing an economy of China’s size and dimensions.”

Richard P. McGregor
Former Financial Times Beijing bureau chief
Author of The Party: The Secret World of China’s Communist Rulers



“The Chinese economy has stumbled, but despite problems, it still spurts ahead at home and abroad. It is changing the world. Labels like ‘socialist,’ ‘capitalist’ or ‘market economy’ are too simple. Kroeber, by digging deeply, framing the key issues, and writing clearly, provides much needed perspective.”

Ezra F. Vogel
Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences Emeritus,
Harvard University

Author of Deng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China