The Evolution of Trade and Labor Laws in China

Hearn, Sarah Catherine (2018) The Evolution of Trade and Labor Laws in China. Undergraduate thesis, under the direction of Christian Sellar from Public Policy Leadership, University of Mississippi.

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This thesis investigates the long-term evolution of legislation that contributed to the shift of China from a command economy to an economic powerhouse in the capitalist world economy. Few have discussed whether the concept of neoliberalization, defined as the process of adapting fiscal conservative and expert oriented policies, explains the longer-term trend of Chinese development. Therefore, this thesis sets out to make a determination whether China is evolving towards or away from the neoliberal model. To answer this question, this thesis analyzes two areas of legislation crucial in a free market: China’s trade and labor laws since the 1970s. More precisely, this research explores, through the lens of legislation, whether a trend of convergence between Western, exemplified by the United States, and Chinese political economies exists, and how the trend itself has changed over time and why. Using interview data based on 15 interviews from foreign entrepreneurs who work in Shanghai or Suzhou, this thesis uses the entrepreneurs’ perception of Chinese trade and labor to seek out reoccurring themes. Based on the information gathered from the literature on the Chinese development of wage and labor laws and the qualitative data in the interviews, this thesis found surprising similarities in Chinese and US policies, effects of those policies that were complementary, and a clear neoliberal direction in the 1980s-1990s in the United States and China. This thesis concludes, based on the policies implemented during the 2000s and 2010s, that this neoliberal direction shifts in both countries, and a different kind of model is taking shape in both China and the US that diverges from neoliberalism.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Creators: Hearn, Sarah Catherine
Student's Degree Program(s): Public Policy Leadership
Thesis Advisor: Christian Sellar
Thesis Advisor's Department: Public Policy Leadership
Institution: University of Mississippi
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Depositing User: Sarah Catherine Hearn
Date Deposited: 09 May 2018 16:30
Last Modified: 09 May 2018 16:30

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