Chinese Government is accused of massive corruption, some critics say that the censorship does not allow the revelation of corruption in China. How did the Communist Party of China from 1976 onwards were able to achieve so much efficiency? I mean China succeeded economically even though it was corrupt.

I say China has succeeded as it was able to pull the majority of people out of poverty, even though there were some human rights violations.

Historically, corrupt nations are the ones which have failed miserably both economically and socially. What happened in China that led to its economic success despite corruption?

In my argument, I am assuming that corruption is related to inefficiency because corruption is due to greed and greed also cause inefficiency.

  • 3
    "Historically, corrupt nations are the once which have failed miserably both economically and socially." I very much doubt that this premise is accurate. Often corruption is essential to overcome bad governance. "greed also cause inefficiency." Almost every mainstream economist would disagree with this point.
    – ohwilleke
    Feb 28, 2018 at 0:30
  • @ohwilleke: On the contrary, greed can cause good government, since the officeholder collecting a considerable amount in bribes has a strong incentive to hold on to that office. If we look at failed (at least from the POV of the general population) governments like Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and North Korea, do we see the likely cause as "corruption", or as non-corrupt adherence to a failed ideology?
    – jamesqf
    Feb 28, 2018 at 5:00
  • Corruption in China has probably been decreasing greatly over the past decades and is likely well correlated with the economic rise of country (as well as quality of life). The level of corruption in modern China is likely comparable to nations like Turkey or India. In fact some nations in the southeast Europe have considerably worse corruption ratings than China and some of those are candidates to EU membership (with good odds of entering EU in the next 10 years I would say).
    – armatita
    Feb 28, 2018 at 11:09
  • Re "massive corruption": relative to what other nations? By what metric? (Perhaps corruption is just easier to measure in China, and more deviously concealed in other lands.)
    – agc
    Feb 28, 2018 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


Check the following article,

Growth, and Corruption in China by Andrew Wedeman.


Rising Corruption and Rapid Growth


Three factors help explain why this was possible.

First, corruption was not a serious barrier to the initial acceleration of growth.

Second, the most intense period of corruption coincided with large-scale transfers of value from the state to the emerging market economy.

Third, despite a somewhat halting start and less than decisive results, China’s anti-corruption efforts managed to bring corruption under control by the early 2000s, albeit without significantly affecting its overall severity.

The first two factors combined to create a situation wherein corruption fed off growth rather than stifled it. Even though corruption became much worse than it had been in the pre-reform period, it was kept at levels that are not necessarily extraordinary for a developing economy.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .