China's Invisible Crisis

Pages: 288
Subject: Economics
Imprint: Oneworld

China's Invisible Crisis

The Growing Urban-Rural Divide and What It Means for the World Economy

Natalie Johnson, Scott Rozelle

Right now, as you read this, a massive drama is unfolding in China. This is not a story that you have heard elsewhere. Indeed, almost no one inside or outside of China is aware of it.
9781786075529 (6 Jun 2019)
RRP £18.99

The Book

Every year, 40,000 factories shut down across China. The country's economy has been built on the back of unskilled labour and now that wages are rising, jobs are moving elsewhere. In recent decades there has been a huge investment in infrastructure, but today there is almost nothing left to build.

A middle-income country with 600 million uneducated rural poor, China faces a crisis of human capital. Without better skills and education, it risks not only economic stagnation, but also a surge in corruption and organised crime. And as its unskilled, heavily male population grows restless, the only way to stave off social unrest may be an ever greater reliance on militaristic nationalism.

China has experienced unprecedented growth and deeply embedded itself in the world economy, but it has missed a vital component in securing its future. The implications should worry all of us.

Additional Information

Subject Economics
Pages 288
Imprint Oneworld



‘A fascinating account of how rural China's education and health deficit threatens to derail the country's economic ascent.'

- Dinny McMahon, author of China’s Great Wall of Debt

‘Engaging and absorbing…Rozelle and Johnson's work paints a portrait of stark inequality in the world's second-largest economy that will startle not just outsiders, but likely China's elites.'

- Mei Fong, author of One Child

‘In this important book, Rozelle rings an alarm bell loud and clear.'

- Peter Coy, Bloomberg Businessweek

‘No one knows rural China better than Scott Rozelle. In this brilliant, original, thought-provoking, and important study, Rozelle and Natalie Johnson not only make China's potential human capital crisis visible, but provide actionable solutions based on rigorous research.'

- Hongbin Li, James Liang Director of the China Program, Stanford University

‘This book offers a stimulating discussion of the problem of urban-rural inequality in China, which is largely unrecognized in the West, and examines the implications of this inequality for the Chinese nation in the coming decades. It is a valuable guide to an issue rarely discussed outside of China.'

- James J. Heckman, Nobel Prize-winning economist, University of Chicago

‘This is the most readable and compelling economics book of the year, and probably the most important. From the opening pages, a clear and compelling argument unfolds: China faces a labour quality crisis, as hundreds of millions of young rural workers lack the education and robust health they need to participate in China's emerging high tech economy. Nobody who cares about China can afford to ignore China's Invisible Crisis.'

- Barry Naughton, School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California, San Diego