China has experienced an unprecedented period of economic growth. Never before has an economy grown so quickly over a sustained period of time. Admittedly, China was starting from a very low base after the policy disasters of Chairman Mao. But what about China's future economic growth? If the gowth in China or any of the BRIC economies slows then that spells trouble for the economies of the West.
Many commentators are turning bearish about China and the BRICs. The US Conference Board's prognosis for the BRICS is very bleak (click here). Matthew Yglesias sees political corruption as a reason to be bearish, but the great unexploited inland possibilities in China as a reason to be bullish. Niall Ferguson sees economic inequality and the demographic timebomb as reasons to be bearish about China. Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson are also bearish because China has not built inclusive and democratic institutions which will enable it to sustain its economic growth (click here). In the video below (about 20 mins in), Acemoglu discusses China and growth in authoritarian countries