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China

How do we achieve sustained growth? Through human capital, and East Asia and the Pacific proves it

Michael Crawford's picture
Students at Beijing Bayi High School in China. Photo: World Bank


In 1950, the average working-age person in the world had  almost three years of education, but in East Asia and Pacific (EAP), the  average person had less than half that amount. Around this time, countries in  the EAP  region put themselves on a path that focused on growth  driven by human capital. They made significant and steady investments in  schooling to close the educational attainment gap with the rest of the world. While  improving their school systems, they also put their human capital to work in  labor markets. As a result, economic growth has been stellar: for four decades  EAP has grown at roughly twice the pace of the global average. What is more, no  slowdown is in sight for rising prosperity.

High economic growth and strong human capital accumulation  are deeply intertwined. In a recent paper, Daron Acemoglu and David Autor explore  the way skills and labor markets interact: Human capital is the central  determinant of economic growth and is the main—and very likely the only—means  to achieve shared growth when technology is changing quickly and raising the  demand for skills. Skills promote productivity and growth, but if there are not  enough skilled workers, growth soon chokes off. If, by contrast, skills are abundant and  average skill-levels keep rising, technological change can drive productivity  and growth without stoking inequality.

中国经济改革与外国专家的作用

Abhas Jha's picture
Also available in: English
1985年9 月举行的“巴山轮会议”与会代表合影
图片:©世界银行

我是个研究政策的书呆子,整个职业生涯(先在印度政府任职,后来到世界银行工作)都在密切关注政策选择是如何做出的,政治进程是如何演进的,机构和个人如何从各自的动机出发,为赞成或反对某种变革而结盟。我在中国工作了将近8年,和我的许多前辈一样,我深深爱上了这个美丽的国家及其人民,爱上了它博大深厚的文明,同时也不断地惊异于中国的变化速度之快、规模和能量之大,这种巨变使8亿多中国人摆脱了贫困。
 
我刚刚读完一部名为《不可能的合作伙伴:中国改革者、西方经济学家和使中国走向全球》(Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists and the Making of Global China)的著作,在某种意义上,这本书将我专业工作的两部分合二而一。

China, economic reform and the role of foreign experts

Abhas Jha's picture
Also available in: 中文
Group photos of the participants of the 1985 Bashan river cruise conference
Photo: copyright © / World Bank

I am a policy wonk. I have spent my entire professional career (first in the Government of India and then in the World Bank) watching up close how policy choices are made, how political processes play out and on how institutions and people form coalitions for or against any change based on their incentives. I have also worked in China for close to 8 years, and like so many before me, have fallen in love with the beautiful country, its people and civilizational depth and continue to be amazed at the sheer pace, scale and energy of the massive changes the country has undergone, lifting more than 800 million of its citizens out of poverty.
 
I just finished reading a majestic book entitled “Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists and the Making of Global China” that, in a sense, brings the two parts of my professional work together.

Listening to women while planning for development: Real life experience from China

Aimin Hao's picture
Also available in: 中文
“Women hold up half of the sky,” Chairman Mao said. So when it comes to development, it is important to listen to women – who generally make up half of our beneficiaries – and understand their views, preferences and needs. As we celebrate International Women’s Day this week, I’m sharing some of my experience helping to increase gender awareness in World Bank-supported projects in China.

When we designed activities for the Ningbo Sustainable Urbanization Project, we carried out consultations with groups of men and women to make sure the proposed public transport system benefitted both equally. It was interesting to find that most men wanted wider roads with higher speed, while women cared more about the location of bus stops and adequate lighting on the bus.. Thanks to these consultations, we adjusted the locations of bus stops to be closer to the entrance of residential communities and reduce walking distance for bus riders. In response to the light request, we made sure that new buses purchased for the project had sufficient lighting for night use.
Conducting consultation with local women in Qianhuang village, Ningo, China.

在设计发展项目的同时倾听妇女心声:来自中国的真实体验

Aimin Hao's picture
Also available in: English
毛主席曾指出:“妇女能顶半边天“。具体到设计发展项目而言,重要的是要倾听妇女心声,了解其意见、偏好和需求, 因为我们力求妇女占世行贷款项目受益人的半数 。 鉴于本周我们庆祝国际妇女节,我谨分享我帮助提升世行对华贷款项目下性别意识方面的部分经验。

当初在设计宁波可持续城镇化项目有关活动过程中,我们 与多个男性和女性小组开展了磋商,目的在于确保拟建公共交通系统平等惠及男女两性。有趣的是,我们发现,男性大多希望修建速度更快、路面更宽的道路,而女性则更多关注公交车站点位置和车上配有足够的照明设施……。得益于此类磋商,我们调整了站点位置,使其距居民小区入口处更近,减少乘客步行距离。我们确保了本项目下新购车辆配有足够的夜间用照明设施。
项目组成员与宁波市宁海县前黄村村民交谈

世界上哪个地区的孩子最聪明?经合组织数据显示,该地区为东亚地区

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
Also available in: English
图中为越南芹苴市附近Tran Dai Nghia高中的学生(图片来源:D7K_4030,摄影:makzhou,按照知识共享组织CC BY-NC 4.0规则使用/已对原照片进行裁剪)


经合组织上月发布的国际学生评估项目(PISA)最新调查结果表明,全世界学习成绩最好的学生中,很多都来自东亚地区。
 
正如在最近发布的《国际数学于科学趋势研究报告》TIMSS )的结果表明,新加坡学生在国际学生评估项目每一学科的成绩均在世界上名列前茅,以较大优势领先于其他经济体和国家。新加坡学生在科学、数学和阅读三门学科上的成绩水平,要比同地区和经合组织国家的学生成绩水平高出两个学年。另外,几乎所有的新加坡学生都达到了基本熟练水平或更高水平。同时,他们的成绩越来越好,成绩低于基本熟练水平的学生人数因此而显著减少。
 
日本学生在科学、数学和阅读学科上的成绩,也明显高于大多数参与该项目的经济体。不过,与上一轮评估相比,日本学生在阅读方面的分数有所下降。尽管如此,与新加坡一样,日本90%的学生已经达到了基本熟练水平或更高水平。

将性别平等融入中国的智能交通系统

Yi Yang's picture
Also available in: English

交通基础设施的规划和设计考虑了男女两性在出行需求、方式以及行为方面的差异,目的在于促进两性平等。此类差异也会对两性使用智能交通系统的方式产生影响吗? 

当我在网上搜索“(公交)IC卡”的时候看到了以下图片(见图1),它们体现了男女两性差异之一:男性在出行过程中随身携带的物品一般很少,而女性往往带着一个或几个包。女性上车后,需要从包中找卡,这可能要花些时间,也给身后排队的其他人造成了影响。其实只需对读卡器作简单的改动,就有可能简化这一过程,使得女性无需把卡从包中掏出来再刷,从而节省时间。

图1:男性和女性使用IC卡的差异

Building gender equality into intelligent transport systems in China

Yi Yang's picture
Also available in: 中文

Transport infrastructure planning and design take into consideration men and women’s differences in travel needs, patterns, and behaviors to promote gender equality. But do these differences also affect how they use intelligent transport systems (ITS)? 

When I searched online for “IC card” (integrated circuit card used to pay transit fares), I found the pictures below (see Figure 1). They illustrate one of the differences between men and women: men tend to travel carrying very little while women tend to carry one or several bags. When women get on a bus, they need to locate the card in their bag which may take some time and hold up the queue behind them. To save time, a simple modification to the IC card reader could facilitate the process by not requiring them to take it out of their purse for swiping.

Figure 1: Differences of IC card usage between men and women

Which region in the world has the smartest kids? According to the OECD, it’s East Asia

Harry A. Patrinos's picture
Also available in: 中文
Students from Tran Dai Nghia High School near Can Tho, Vietnam (Photo: D7K_4030 by makzhou, used under CC BY-NC 4.0 / cropped from original)


With the release last month of the latest PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) results by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), it is apparent that many of the highest achieving students in the world are in East Asia.
 
Just as in the recently released TIMSS (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study) results, Singapore leads the world in every subject in PISA, outperforming other economies and countries by a significant margin. Students in Singapore perform at a level that is up to two years ahead of their regional and OECD counterparts in science, mathematics and reading. Moreover, almost all Singaporean students have reached a basic level of proficiency or higher. And they just keep getting better, having significantly reduced performance below basic proficiency.
 
Japan also outperforms most participating economies in science, mathematics and reading. However, its score in reading has declined since the last round. Still, as in Singapore, 90% of students have reached a basic level of proficiency or above.

Integrated Financial and Procurement Audits for Bank Financed Projects - The China Experience

Jingrong He's picture
Also available in: 中文
Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI) for Bank financed projects have carried out financial and procurement audits. In Poland, this initially started more than a decade ago and there have been several other examples over the past years in other countries.

By the end of FY16, China National Audit Office (CNAO), the SAI in China, had successfully completed its third year of integrated financial and procurement audits for 27 Bank financed projects and accounting for 28% of the total active portfolio of China. This is a big leap from only 3 projects in the first year of FY14.

Rome was not built in a day. CNAO has been the external auditor of all Bank-financed projects in China since 1984. It conducts project audits in accordance with the Government Auditing Standards of the P.R. China and the International Standards on Auditing. The Foreign Funds Application Audit Department and the Audit Service Center of CNAO, and the Provincial Audit Institutions conduct audits on Bank financed projects and issue the audit reports in their names. There are about 120-130 financial audit reports submitted to the Bank every year. CNAO's audit reports not only include the auditor's opinion on project financial statements, they also include opinions on procurement compliance as this is an important aspect of the review of the eligibility of expenditures. This procedure is in full compliance with the Audit Law of P. R. China, which requires auditing of authenticity, legality and beneficial results of the budgetary revenues and expenditures or financial revenues and expenditures of public funds. It was under this context that in FY 14, we started piloting the use of CNAO for integrated financial and procurement audits in some Bank-financed projects.

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