This paper explores China's experience with property rights reform. In contrast to most countries in East Central Europe and the former Soviet Union, China has experimented with different ownership forms and this has been quite successful. Over the last two decades China has had the highest growth rate in the world. The main argument presented here is that private property rights alone cannot provide a theory for China's economic success and that the whole process is too complex to be reduced to canonical explanations. To this end the paper reviews recent evidence in the three main areas of reform—agriculture, rural industrialisation and state-owned sector reform.

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