This book provides an analysis of changes in the level and structure of wages in China from the 1920s to 1972. In the first part of the study Dr Howe uses this analysis as a starting point to evaluate the degree to which wage policy objectives have been achieved, particularly since 1949. The author explains both fluctuations in policy and discrepancies between plans and reality and examines the mechanisms of wage determination. In so doing, he makes it clear that even in a highly planned society there are some limits to what is possible in the regulation of wages and incomes. He goes on to argue that the wage system can only be understood within a common analysis of the whole framework of incentives and controls affecting the workforce. This approach sheds new light, not only on the development of the wage system but on economic aspects of the Cultural Revolution and its aftermath.
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