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Small WorksPoverty and Economic Development in Southwestern China$
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John A. Donaldson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449680

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449680.001.0001

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Why Do Similar Areas Adopt Different Developmental Strategies?

Why Do Similar Areas Adopt Different Developmental Strategies?

(p.37) 2 Why Do Similar Areas Adopt Different Developmental Strategies?
Small Works

John A. Donaldson

Cornell University Press

This chapter addresses the question of why the leaders of Guizhou and Yunnan provinces chose different policy approaches to effect economic development. This question is significant, given that these leaders faced similar challenges, operated in similar contexts, and answered to the same bosses in the central government. Were the contrasting strategies adopted due to initiatives from provincial leaders, some centrally initiated experiment, a historical or geographical factor, or a combination of these factors? Evidence suggests that, although the central government constrained and encouraged certain actions and approaches in the provinces, the experiences and backgrounds of the individual provincial leaders affected the choices of strategies. Moreover, once a particular course was set and had received central support, a form of path dependency caused the strategy to continue even after the original leaders had departed.

Keywords:   Guizhou province, Yunnan province, provincial leaders, regional government, central government, China, economic policy, economic development

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