The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Maoist Economics

Reference work entry


During the Maoist era (1949–76), China attempted to adopt Soviet-style central planning in her first Five-Year Plan, but soon changed course. Under the heavy hand of Chairman Mao Zedong, China created a unique style of central planning where the centre enunciated broad policy directives in the form of slogans that could be easily passed down to local cadres, who were given strong incentives to find ways to implement them. This article outlines a consistent framework for analysing the policy changes during the Maoist era and their dramatic impact on the Chinese economy.


Agricultural productivity Agricultural taxation Collectivization Cultural Revolution (China) Famines Great Leap Forward (China) Lysenkoism Maoist economics Marxist economics Nutrition Peasants Planning Tax compliance 

JEL Classifications

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Li
    • 1
  1. 1.