Original Source: Economists 50 Forum
An economic think tank comprised of 50 top Chinese economists—many of whom have senior political connections but are primarily successful academics or business leaders. The non-political careers of many institute members, and its occasional criticism of party-state policies, mean the forum is not necessarily representative of the official Party line and state stance.
Economist Cai Fang argues that problems in China’s labor market will hamper efforts to boost productivity in the years ahead. Cai examines the immediate impacts of COVID-19 and its aftermath on the labor market, concluding that as older workers and those in the informal sector exited the workforce, a “large portion of jobs lost to the epidemic cannot be expected to be regained.” In the long term, China will face deeper economic challenges as the growth in new workers slows. In addition, Cai argues that as growth becomes increasingly “innovation-driven,” there will be a surplus of workers who “do not have the human capital required for newly created jobs.”
This interview with a leading Chinese economist discusses the need for, and goals of, Common Prosperity based on current and desired economic indicators; he weighs actions such as property and inheritance taxes, citizen donations, and education reform.