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In “Giovanni Arrighi in Beijing:  Rethinking the Transformation of the Labor Supply in Rural China During the Reform Era,” Hao Qu and Zhongjin Li use a Marxian political economy perspective to analyze the formation of the reserve army of labor in China during the reform era, which began in 1978. Building from the work of Arrighi, and critiquing the highly influential Lewis model, Qu and Li show how the formation of an industrial reserve army in China has been an historical process in which the state has played an active role.
This paper by Hao Qi creates a time series of the rate of surplus value for the Chinese economy over the extended period 1956-2014, using a Marxian approach. It finds that the high profitability that stimulated capital accumulation in the decade before the 2008 crisis had relied on the continuous growth in the rate of surplus value.  But after the crisis, the conditions supporting a high rate of surplus value—an expanding external market, a relatively large reserve army of labor, and a low debt-income ratio—have weakened.  This has led to a "new normal" pattern of declining profitability in China.

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