OECD Economic Surveys: China

2072-5027 (online)
2072-5035 (print)
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OECD's periodic reviews of the Chinese economy.  Each edition examines recent economic developments, policy and prospects, and makes a series of recommendations.
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OECD Economic Surveys: China 2015

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20 Mar 2015
9789264230170 (EPUB) ; 9789264230118 (PDF) ;9789264230071(print)

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This OECD Economic Survey of China examines recent economic developments, policies and prospects. Special chapters cover skills and education as well as rural development.

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  • Basic statistics of China, 2013

    The Survey was prepared by Margit Molnar and Ben Westmore, with contributions from Chunyan Bian, Ruidong Gao, Thomas Chalaux and Clara García, under the supervision of Vincent Koen. Secretarial assistance was provided by Nadine Dufour and Mercedes Burgos.The Survey was discussed at a special seminar of the Economic and Development Review Committee on 26 January 2015, with participation of representatives of the Chinese government. The cut-off date for data and information used in the Survey is 12 March 2015.The Survey is published on the responsibility of the Secretary-General of the OECD.  

  • Executive summary
  • Assessment and recommendations
  • OECD 2013 key recommendations and China's reform orientations

    OECD 2013 Survey key recommendations

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Thematic chapters

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    • Providing the right skills to all

      China has made impressive strides in education in recent decades, even though the accumulation of human capital has lagged behind that of physical capital. Going forward, access to and quality of education will be key to sustain economic convergence with the most advanced economies and to offset the drag exerted by population ageing. This will require addressing a number of problems. Access to pre-school education is still far from universal. Migrants’ children as well as rural and poor families are still at a major disadvantage at every step of the education ladder. The focus on rote learning and exams remains excessive. More bridges are needed between vocational and general education. Graduating students often struggle to find a job matching their expectations and employers do not always find the requisite skills. Despite a soaring number of Chinese patents, the quality of most patents is still low and innovation output is weak. Reforms are underway to address these problems but further progress is needed in various areas against the backdrop of rapidly evolving market demands and the development of the knowledge economy. Among the priorities are more and better oriented funding of education, giving greater opportunities to children with a socio-economic or physical disadvantage, reducing the role of after-school tutoring, focusing less on memorisation and more on creativity, enhancing the appeal of the teaching profession, improving students’ information on labour market prospects, developing workplace training, making greater use of online education potential, and more effectively nurturing research and innovation.

    • Agricultural reforms and bridging the gap for rural areas

      Urbanisation will continue in China, with the government planning to grant urban residential status to an additional 100 million rural workers by 2020. While this process is transforming the urban economy, the rural economy is also undergoing substantial structural change. Government policy settings in rural areas are critical for smoothing the transition and helping bridge the gap in living standards between urban and rural China. Reforms should further enable farmers who wish to continue working in the agricultural sector to raise productivity levels. Specific measures include encouraging land transfer, promoting further rural financial development and technical assistance for farmers. At the same time, obstacles should be removed for those rural residents aspiring to move to jobs in cities where their skills can yield a higher marginal product. For those who remain in rural areas, improved social welfare systems and investment in health services are critical.

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