≡ Menu

Bonus Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 314 of my Mercatus Center colleague Dan Griswold’s review, in the Winter 2018 Cato Journal, of Bradley Gardner’s book China’s Great Migration: How the Poor Built a Prosperous Nation; the great Chinese migration referred to here is that of tens of millions of people, following Mao’s death, migrating from rural areas of China to Shanghai, Shenzhen, and other cities in China:

For the rest of the world, China’s great migration reminds us once again that the freedom to pick up and move from one place to another is essential for human happiness and progress.  This can be the freedom to move from a poor to a rich country, or from the countryside to the city within a country.  In both cases, workers can experience a sharp increase in their productivity, benefiting themselves and their families while boosting total economic output.

DBx: Far more important than Beijing’s encouragement of exports to China’s post-Mao economic growth is the internal migration of the Chinese people from the countryside to urban areas.  Indeed, government subsidization of exports causes economies to grow more slowly than otherwise, for such subsidies divert resources from where they would be more productively used to where they are less productively used.