ERIC Number: EJ725300
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Aug-1
The Great Leap Forward: Anatomy of a Central Planning Disaster
Li, Wei; Yang, Dennis Tao
Journal of Political Economy, v113 n4 p840 Aug 2005
The Great Leap Forward disaster, characterized by a collapse in grain production and a widespread famine in China between 1959 and 1961, is found attributable to a systemic failure in central planning. Wishfully expecting a great leap in agricultural productivity from collectivization, the Chinese government accelerated its aggressive industrialization timetable. Grain output fell sharply as the government diverted agricultural resources to industry and imposed an excessive grain procurement burden on peasants, leaving them with insufficient calories to sustain labor productivity. Our analysis shows that 61 percent of the decline in output is attributable to the policies of resource diversion and excessive procurement.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, Agricultural Production, Developing Nations, Economic Factors, Poverty, Planning, Public Policy, Social Systems, Collective Settlements, Political Influences, Rural Areas, Agricultural Laborers, Government Role, Food, Hunger
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A