From State-Led to Market-Led Economy

Edited by Weizhen Dong

This unique volume provides a comprehensive overview of social policies in China and their evolution over the 70 years since the People's Republic of China was established in 1949. Particular attention is paid to changes in social policies since the era of "opening up" and economic reform began in the late 1970s. Individual chapters are written by experts in their fields. Weizhen Dong, professor of sociology at the University of Waterloo, has edited the volume, as well as authoring or co-authoring a number of chapters.

Topics covered include:

  • family planning policy, including the history of the "one child policy"
  • population mobility and migration policy
  • the hukou system and rural migrants' assimilation
  • healthcare
  • elder care
  • housing policy
  • education policy
  • employment and income policies

From the preface:

This book is for those who are keen to understand China—students, scholars, entrepreneurs, government officials, businessmen, or an individual with a curious mind. I hope this volume can serve as a bridge between our readers and China. Our readers will find that although China is old—a country with thousands of years of history and cultural heritage—China is also actually quite young: the People’s Republic of China is just approaching its seventieth anniversary. In the past 69 years, there are lessons to be learned, there are successes to be celebrated, and there are also a lot of “growing pains”. At a time when China is becoming more visible in world affairs, this book serves the purpose of addressing global curiosity about China, answering questions such as: What kind of socioeconomic system does China have? What are the main social welfare benefits the Chinese people enjoy? What are the main social issues facing China and the Chinese people? Is China a communist country? The current climate makes understanding among different countries and peoples more important than ever before.


​Paperback, 6 X 9, 244 pages

$40 US / $55 CANADA

​ISBN-13 978-1-77244-165-9



Preface: Understanding China through Its Social Policy/Weizhen Dong

Chapter 1. Family Planning Policy in China/Xiaochun Qiao

Chapter 2. Population Mobility and Migration Policy/Changxing Zhao and Weizhen Dong

Chapter 3. Hukou System and Rural Migrant Workers’ Assimilation/Weizhen Dong and Changxing Zhao

Chapter 4. Migrant Workers’ Healthcare Access and Policy Implications/Weizhen Dong

Chapter 5. Aging-Related Welfare Policies in China/Baozhen Luo and Heying Zhan

Chapter 6. Aging and Elder Care in Shanghai/Xin Yang and Weizhen Dong

Chapter 7. Housing Policy: A Comparative Study of Shanghai and St. Petersburg/Xiaowen Lu

Chapter 8. Employment and Income Policy/Weizhen Dong and Xin Le

Chapter 9. Education Policy in China/Weizhen Dong, Lichun Qin, and Zhennan Wang

Chapter 10. Healthcare Policy in Urban China/Weizhen Dong, Chun Chen, and Li Shen

Chapter 11. Healthcare Policy in Rural China/Weizhen Dong, Qicheng Jiang, Shanfa Yang, Lidan Wang, and Zehan Pan

Chapter 12. Healthcare Policy and Reforms in Hong Kong/Alex Jingwei

About the Contributors