29 September 2011

Opposed Systems Design: “Constraints on Chinese Growth”

***This post offers some good points regarding what I would term China’s “Trajectory of Expectations.” We need to “calculate the second derivative” of China’s S-Curve.***

Constraints on Chinese Growth,” Opposed Systems Design, 27 September 2011.

Erickson and Collins have a stimulating piece about potential constraints on Chinese growth. They summarize political, demographic, health, environmental, and economic factors that could slow Chinese growth over the coming decades. They use the concept of an “S-curve” (aka a logistic function) to tie these trends together. …

While these trends concern the future, the implications of these trends become real in the present through expectations, be they Chinese expectations of primacy or American expectations of decline. What makes a deceleration in Chinese growth so difficult is the clash between these expectations and the reality of limits to relative growth. The crisis for China won’t come in 2030-35 when its demographic profile begins to seriously hinder its economic dynamism; the crisis will come when the trend of the past 30 years – accelerating relative growth – inverts. …

For the full-length report that is cited in this post, see Gabe Collins and Andrew Erickson, “China’s S-Curve Trajectory: Structural factors will likely slow the growth of China’s economy and comprehensive national power,” China SignPost™ (洞察中国), No. 44 (15 August 2011).

For an abbreviated version of that report, see Andrew Erickson and Gabe Collins, “China’s S-Shaped Threat,” The Diplomat, 6 September 2011.