China's Technological Leapfrogging and Economic Catch-up: A Schumpeterian Perspective

ISBN : 9780192847560

Keun Lee
592 ページ
156 x 234 mm

After the miraculous economic growth known as the Beijing Consensus, China is now facing a slowdown. The attention has moved to the issue of the middle income trap. This book deals with this interesting issue in the context of China. It also discusses China's limitations and future prospects, especially after the rise of a new "cold war" between China and the US, namely the question of whether China would fall into another trap called the "Thucydides trap", or conflict with the existing hegemon as a rising power. In sum, this book plays around three key terms, namely, the Beijing Consensus, the Middle Income Trap, and the Thucydides trap, and applies a Schumpeterian approach to these concepts. It also conducts a comparative analysis that examines China from an "economic catch-up" perspective. An economic catch-up starts from learning and imitating a forerunner, but finishing the race successfully requires taking a different path along the road. This act is also known as leapfrogging, which implies a latecomer doing something different from, and often ahead of, a forerunner. Technological leapfrogging may lead to technological catch-up, which means reducing the technological gap, and then finally to economic catch-up in living standards (per capita income) and economic size (GDP: economic power). This linkage from technological leapfrogging and catch-up to economic catch-up corresponds exactly with a similar linkage from the Beijing Consensus to escaping (or not) the middle income and the Thucydides traps. One conclusion from this book is that China's successful rise as a global industrial power has been due to its strategy of technological leapfrogging, which has enabled China to move beyond the middle income trap and possibly the Thucydides trap, although at a slower speed.


1 Introducing Schumpeter to China
Part One: The Origins of Catch-up and the Early Effort
2 The Origins of Technological Catch-up in China: The Birth of Huawei and ZTE
3 Origins and Growth of Big Businesses in China
4 Role of S&T Institutions for Limited Catch-up : Semi-conductor Industry
Part Two: Assessing the Catch-up in a Comparative Perspective
5 Assessing China's Economic Catch-up in a Comparative Perspective: Beijing Consensus, Washington Consensus, East Asian Consensus
6 Catching-up and Leapfrogging in Key Manufacturing sectors: A comparison with Korea
7 Catch-up in IT Services and the Role of the Government in China
8 Huawei's Leapfrogging to overtake Ericsson
Part Three: Prospects of Catch-up and Leapfrogging
9 Possibility of a Middle-Income Trap in China
10 Thucydides Trap, GVC and Future of China


Keun Lee is a globally recognized scholar on economics of catch-up. Currently, he is a professor of Economics at the Seoul National University, Fellow of the CIFAR (Canada) program on Innovation, Equity and Prosperity, the Vice-chairman of the National Economic Advisory Council (for the President of Korea), and the director of the Center for Economic Catch-up. He is an editor of Research Policy, and an associate editor of Industrial and Corporate Change. He served as the President of the International Schumpeter Society, a member of the Committee for Development Policy of UN, and a council member of the World Economic Forum. He is the winner of the 2014 Schumpeter Prize for his monograph on Schumpeterian Analysis of Economic Catch-up (2013 Cambridge Univ. Press), as well as the 2019 Kapp Prize from the EAEPE, for his article on national innovation systems. He obtained Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley, with his thesis on the Chinese economy.