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Local level institutional complementarities in contemporary China

A comparison between Nanjing and Suzhou
Complémentarités institutionnelles locales en Chine contemporaine : comparaison entre Nanjing et Suzhou
Alexandre De Podestá Gomes

Résumés

Cet article a pour objectif d’explorer et de comparer les voies de développement économique suivies par deux villes implantées dans différentes préfectures en Chine : Nanjing et Suzhou. Ces deux villes partagent certaines similarités : elles sont considérées affluentes en Chine, sont situées dans la même vaste zone économique, au delta du fleuve Yangtze (YRD), et dans la même région infraprovinciale au sud du Jiangsu. Cependant, ces villes présentent des modèles nettement distincts d’arrangements institutionnels locaux et de régimes d’accumulation. Ce texte propose que les héritages historiques propres à chacune de ces villes (Nanjing et Suzhou) ont contribué à façonner leurs modes respectifs d’arrangements institutionnels distincts, alors que l’appartenance aux institutions aura influencé les politiques et stratégies adoptées par Nanjing et Suzhou, conduisant finalement à des régimes d’accumulation distincts. Cette étude s’appuie sur une définition d’économie politique des institutions établie par Robert Boyer (1988) et Bruno Amable (2003) et mobilise le concept de complémentarité institutionnelle (Amable, 2016 ; Aoki, 1994) pour analyser les arrangements institutionnels de Nanjing et de Suzhou. En premier lieu, cet article ouvre le débat sur la nature de l’État chinois, en suggérant que le pays est surtout défini par ses hétérogénéités institutionnelles internes, lesquelles se retrouvent fréquemment à leur tour au niveau infranational. L’article se poursuit par la présentation du cadre analytique employé dans cette recherche. Il précise ensuite les définitions des institutions et des complémentarités institutionnelles et présente une comparaison entre Nanjing et Suzhou en termes d’arrangements institutionnels. Les dernières sections résument les caractéristiques institutionnelles et les régimes d’accumulation observés dans les deux villes et concluent l’analyse.

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The author would like to thank Dr. Dic Lo and the two anonymous referees whose comments helped to improve and to bring clarity to the paper. All remaining errors are the author’s responsibility.

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - Brasil (CAPES) - Finance Code BEX 0398/14-4

Introduction

1In their review of the literature on the nature of the Chinese state in the post-Mao era, Baum and Shevchenko (1999) pinpoint the “wild profusion of new labels” (P. 333) and the “taxonomic anarchy” (P. 334) which have flooded the scholarly research on China. The post-Mao era has witnessed a series of thorny scholarly debates concerning a wide array of topics. Each of those topics deserves close scrutiny in its own right, but it is their interrelationships that bewilder scholars of China. To make matters worse, the effects of this intertwining seem to not follow a unique and standardized order, presenting itself with great variegation across time and space. Baum and Shevchenko (1999) encapsulate this accurately when they state that “reform policies have not produced uniform patterns of interaction between state agencies and emerging (or renascent) socioeconomic forces” (p. 354). Therefore, this somehow turbulent interlacing shapes a heterogeneous mosaic of institutional formations in China.

2This internal institutional heterogeneity, as alluded to above, is often expressed geographically, at distinct scales of governance. In other words, there are multiple combinations of social, political and economic variables operating at the same time at distinct administrative jurisdictions. Disparate arrangements and strategies have been crafted by local states in China, reflecting a fragmented composition of patterns of governance and accumulation regimes. These characteristics render attempts at framing China exclusively from the national level ill-fated and normally unsuccessful (Peck & Zhang, 2013). Hence, to solely privilege the national level when searching for “system integrity” or institutional coherence, as most approaches do, can be a red herring. In fact, the local state in modern China has a long history of relative autonomy on economic governance (Donnithorne, 1972; Shue, 1988; Yang, 1997) and in the post-Mao era they became catalysts of economic growth. By controlling key economic variables, local elites – epitomized by a symbiotic partnership between local officials and the business sector – enjoyed the necessary leeway to devise and implement pro-growth strategies (Duckett, 2000; Heilmann, 2008; Oi, 1995).

3This paper selects two localities in China in order to illuminate the country’s internal institutional heterogeneity and the existence of distinct accumulation regimes. As such, a case study will be conducted, comparing the peculiar sets of institutional complementarities present in Nanjing and Suzhou. These two cities were selected because, in spite of their geographical proximity and relatively similar status as wealthy cities, they can be characterized by distinct patterns of local institutional complementarities and thus typify very distinct local accumulation regimes in contemporary China. Throughout this study it is shown that deeply-rooted historical processes have shaped, in a path-dependent manner, different socio-political compromises crafted by local elites in Nanjing and Suzhou. These historically-driven compromises, in turn, explain the particular institutional arrangements currently found and the distinct local accumulation regimes existent in these two cities.

4This paper is organized in the following manner, after this introduction. Section 1 presents the analytical framework employed in this research. Section 2 presents the historical background and a comparison between the institutional complementarities found in Nanjing and Suzhou. Section 3 summarizes the main findings, highlighting the concepts of path-dependency, institutions, institutional complementarities and accumulation regimes in Nanjing and Suzhou, as well as their interconnections. The last section wraps-up and concludes the study.

1. The analytical framework

1.1. Institutions and institutional complementarities

5The role of institutions in economic development has already been recognized, by mainstream and heterodox economists alike, and there are a great variety of approaches to the matter (Dosi, Marengo & Nuvolari, 2016; Hodgson, 2015). In this study, the idea of institutional complementarities will be privileged, as well as the whole theoretical edifice normally associated with the concept.

6The notion of institutional complementarity deals with the idea that there exist mutually reinforcing effects among distinct institutional forms, to the extent that the effectiveness of a certain institutional arrangement (say, on corporate governance) must be supported by institutional arrangements in different realms (for instance, on labour markets and financial systems). Amable defines the concept in the following way:

[…] the idea that certain institutional forms, when jointly present, reinforce each other and contribute to improving the functioning, coherence or stability of specific institutional configurations, varieties or models of capitalism.
(Amable, 2016, p. 79, original emphasis)

7Although simple, the concept begets significant consequences. First and foremost, any idea of the existence of a “one-size fits all” institutional approach must be seriously questioned. If, in order to attain the maximum effectiveness, an institutional arrangement must be combined with other arrangements, the whole idea of (universal) “best practices” becomes devoid of real meaning.

8The concept has been deployed by different schools of thought, such as the Varieties of Capitalism approach (Hall & Soskice, 2001) and the French Régulation Theory (Boyer, 1988; Petit, 1999), each selecting distinct institutional forms deemed complementary to each other. The striking theoretical aspect is not the definition and nuances of the forms each institutional arrangement assumes in isolation, but their interconnections, i. e., the complementarities among all the institutional forms which yield a system-level coherence, lending the required institutional support for an accumulation regime to materialize.

9With the concept of institutional complementarities already presented, one must take one step back and state explicitly which particular definition of “institutions” one is working with. The approach to be employed here argues that institutions essentially “represent a compromise resulting from the social conflict originating in the heterogeneity of interests among agents” (Amable, 2003, p. 10). If one accepts this assertion, it follows that institutions and institutional change should be perceived as a political economy matter. Hence, contra the mainstream approach, efficiency and transaction costs minimization (see Dosi, Marengo & Nuvolari, 2016) cannot be held as the main criteria in explaining the emergence and evolution of institutions. Fundamentally, the reason why one finds a diversity of institutional arrangements, and indeed of capitalisms, is the diversity of political compromises among various groups, and the idiosyncrasies of social and political struggles existing in different areas of the world (Boyer, 2005). As Amable (2003) encapsulates: “what we consider to be different economic ‘models’ are therefore based on specific social compromises over institutions” (p. 10).

1.2. Unit of analysis and methods

10The post-Mao era reforms propelled the restructuring of urban administrative units, and urban governments were incited to boost their fiscal and investment-attracting powers (Chung & Lam, 2004). In particular, one may highlight the rise of prefecture-level cities as a new level of governance in modern China. Effectively, prefecture-level cities became an actual layer of local administration placed between the provincial and the county levels. Figure 1 below displays the numerical rise of these units, while the number of villages and townships has clearly decreased:

Figure 1. Number of prefecture-level cities, townships and villages (1990-2013)

Figure 1. Number of prefecture-level cities, townships and villages (1990-2013)

Source: own elaboration based on data from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development

11Prefecture-level cities are the units which increasingly concentrate economic, fiscal, and administrative authority. Under the system commonly known as “city-leading-county” (市管县, shì guăn xiàn), they gained greater administrative and economic powers (Chien, 2010; Chung, 2010), and also are entitled to extract fiscal resources which otherwise would be accrued by their subordinate unites (Wong, 2009).

12For this study, therefore, the institutional coherencies and complementarities, often sought after at the national level, seem to be more adequately conceptualized at the level of prefecture-level cities. The comparison between Nanjing and Suzhou, two prefecture-level cities, will underline the existence of distinct institutional arrangements and accumulation regimes in local China, illustrating the spatially-differentiated nature of China’s political economy.

13The comparison will be carried out by triangulating statistical data taken especially from, but not limited to, the Jiangsu Bureau of Statistics and secondary literature. Statistical data will be employed to pinpoint and describe the main institutional forms, and a number of secondary studies, pertaining to different areas within the broad camp of social sciences, will be engaged with to characterize the cities’ institutions and accumulation regimes.

1.3. The institutional forms to be analysed

14After presenting the definitions of institutions and institutional complementarities, and justifying the selection of prefecture-level cities as the most adequate unit of analysis when investigating institutional arrangements in contemporary China, it is time to lay down precisely what the institutional forms (i. e., the particular forms institutions assume) and what their complementarities are, which will be analysed at the local level in this study. Six distinct, but interconnected institutional forms will be taken into consideration. Table 1 summarizes them:

Table 1. The six local-level institutional forms to be analysed

Table 1. The six local-level institutional forms to be analysed

Source: adapted from Boyer (1988) and Amable (2003)

15From the regulationist (Boyer, 1988; Amable, 2003) approach adopted in this study, the selection of the institutional forms in table 1 seems legitimate: they basically reflect how one should perceive the social reproduction of labour and capital, how productive organizations (enterprises) finance their operations, how learning/innovation (or, in a more mainstream vein, human capital) is promoted, and how the market economy is connected with the state and with foreign actors.

16The first institutional form, state industrial ownership, aims to assess the degree in which the Chinese state directly operates at the level of industrial production. Given China’s past experiences with aspects of a centrally-planned economy and the suppression of private ownership, and the partial process of privatization the country has undergone (which has been geographically uneven), currently some localities feature an industrial base heavily dominated by state-owned enterprises (SOEs), while others have virtually got rid of them. Second, the engagement with foreign capital and foreign markets privileges the degree in which a locality is connected to the global circuits of accumulation, by assessing the share of its industrial production dominated by foreign-invested enterprises (FIEs) and its openness to global trade. While some localities are heavily engaged with foreign capital, others remain relatively closed. Third, the labour markets and wage-labour nexus assesses basic characteristics of local labour markets in different localities. As is well-known, wage-compensation varies substantially in China; cities have the power to set minimum wages (Freeman, 2015) and other local aspects like the degree of unionisation may affect wage levels. Moreover, given the enormous rural-urban migration China has experienced, data on migrant populations will be presented. The degree to which a city attracts outside workers is fundamental in characterizing local labour markets dynamics. Fourth, the education sector is preoccupied with the ability of a city to offer the human capital necessary to promote innovation and technical progress. Hence, the average educational level of the local population, measured by the average years of schooling, the capacity of different cities to graduate students from higher educational institutions (HEIs) and the relative size of the specialized workforce engaged in productive activities, measured by the number of technical personnel, are assessed. Fifth, the productive structure of cities is evauated, specifically regarding the degree to which localities have a productive structure very specialized in one particular sector, or are more diversified among distinct sectors. What will be attempted here is not to determine whether specialization or diversification, per se, is better for growth. Rather, it will be shown that these characteristics are complementary to other institutional forms and a result of path-dependent processes. Finally, financing aims to present the main mechanisms in which companies located in different cities utilize to finance their activities. Measures on the importance of bank credit and stock markets will be presented. Some localities may be more dependent on the banking system than others, while some localities may exploit both banking and non-banking financial institutions in order to secure their funding.

17Their interconnections, i. e., the complementarities among all the six institutional forms, will expectedly yield a system-level coherence, lending the required institutional support to an accumulation regime to materialize. The viability of any accumulation regime will depend on the harmony (or otherwise) between the institutional forms presented above. In the next chapter, when displaying the institutional complementarities for each city, their interconnections will also be presented, highlighting the linkages and interrelationships for each city.

2. Institutional complementarities in Nanjing and Suzhou

2.1. Historical background

18In spite of their geographical proximity, Nanjing and Suzhou feature very distinct historical backgrounds. As the provincial capital of Jiangsu, Nanjing received a massive inflow of central investments in the Maoist era, which were crystalized in the great number of large-scale SOEs the city possesses, particularly in heavy industries (Wang et al., 2011). With the market-oriented reforms initiated in 1978, the strategy adopted by Nanjing was to link its now locally controlled SOEs and other enterprises to large, centrally controlled SOEs. As a result, one could observe broad industrial groups controlled by the city, but these groups were integrated with other central-, city- and collectively-controlled companies. During the first decade of economic reforms, Nanjing re-organized its industrial structure, always placing its SOEs at the centre of its efforts. As a result, and given the chosen strategy, dependence of upper-levels of government was strengthened (Chung, 2003).

19In the 1990s, with the further opening-up of the Chinese economy and the tremendous growth many localities experienced, Nanjing started to become more active in attracting foreign investments and in remodelling its growth strategy. Foreign capital became increasingly important for the city, either through joint-ventures (JVs) with domestic companies (state-owned or private) or through wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs). The general trend of establishing development zones (DZs) and attracting foreign direct investments (FDI) started timidly in the late 1980s but has gained stronger momentum from the 1990s onwards. Nanjing’s strong base of SOEs and central-level linkages, however, produced a relatively slower opening-up and adaptation to the new era of Chinese economic development. As Chung (2003) puts it, Nanjing’s strong reliance on traditional manufacturing sectors dominated by its SOEs made the city more dependent on policies designed to attend those sectors in particular, and less enthusiastic in lobbying upper governmental levels for FDI-friendly policies (at least initially).

20Suzhou, on the other hand, even during the Maoist era, never counted with a base of large-scale SOEs comparable with the one found in Nanjing. During the late 1960s and the 1970s, however, under the aegis of Mao’s programme of rural industrialization, many collectively-owned enterprises (COEs) run by communes were set in the countryside. In general, Suzhou ended up with a smaller industrial base than Nanjing, and SOEs in Suzhou were of smaller scale and controlled by lower governmental levels. As a result, the industrial structure of Suzhou by the end of the Maoist era was more dispersed and less centralized than in Nanjing (Chung, 2003). Accordingly, COEs were more important than SOEs in the region (Wang, Shen & Chang, 2015).

  • 1 In Shazhou county, for instance, in 1985 SOEs corresponded to only 5.4% of the industrial output (C (...)

21The reform and opening-up paradigm initiated by the Dengist leadership, emphasising light industries in the early 1980s and an increased responsibility for local governments over economic affairs, ultimately benefited Suzhou’s development. The local state took advantage of this new environment to reinvigorate the process of rural industrialization by spurring enterprise autonomy and marketization (Chung, 2003). This strategy is markedly distinct from the one in Nanjing, in which the inherited SOEs were the lynchpin of the governmental approach to development. While in Nanjing the government tried to link local enterprises with large, centrally-controlled SOEs, overlooking rural industrialization and COEs, in Suzhou the government aimed at instituting a suitable setting for the growth and development of its COEs1 and township and village enterprises (TVEs), usually smaller in scale and based on less traditional manufacturing sectors. This strategy (often labelled the “Sunan model”) presented outstanding results until the early 1990s, but with the passing of the years TVEs own deficiencies started to surface, like their reliance on unskilled workers, low technology and limited scale of production.

22The accumulation of problems related to the “Sunan model” prompted local governments in Suzhou to search for different growth strategies. Amid the privatization and opening-up impulse of the 1990s, Suzhou seized this opportunity to establish several DZs, and the region soon became a hotspot of FDI, especially in the manufacturing sector (Wang, Shen & Chang, 2015). While it is true that from the early 1990s onwards many local states thrived in attracting foreign capital, Suzhou’s lure of FDI seems particularly successful. One of the reasons for this was the then concomitant restructuring of global production networks (GPNs), especially in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. Taiwanese firms, acting as the key contractual suppliers for transnational companies (TNCs) were searching for production sites which were simultaneously cheap and could fulfil the requirements of flexibility, scale, and speed of the TNCs. As part of the inner logic of GPNs re-structuring at the time, most of the new investments in Suzhou were looking at the city as a mere export-platform, to be used to ship final products to global consuming markets (Wang & Lee, 2007). As the 1990s wore on, and especially after China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001, one can safely argue that Suzhou managed to transition from the canonical “Sunan model”, based on domestic-invested COEs, to an export-oriented strategy, based on foreign capital.

2.2. Nanjing and Suzhou: A comparison of institutional complementarities, 2001-2015

23The description of the economic structures of Nanjing and Suzhou from the Maoist era up until the beginning of the 21st century depicts two cities following distinct historical paths of development. As it has been suggested, the historical legacies inherited played a fundamental role in the strategies both cities employed. Now is time to employ the notion of institutional complementarities, as presented in section 1.1., to understand the post-2001 institutional characteristics of the cities. As explained before, one should analyse the institutional forms highlighted in table 1, and observe whether or not the institutional forms at the city level are complementary to each other. The previous section, by presenting the economic development history of each city, allows us to better infer the type of institutional forms to be found in both Nanjing and Suzhou.

24The first institutional form to be analysed revolves around state industrial ownership, to be measured by the share of state-holding industrial enterprises. From the previous section, it should be expected that Nanjing’s inheritance of a strong base of SOEs would manifest in its post-2001 industrial structure, while Suzhou should not display a considerable share of SOEs and COEs in its industrial structure. Indeed, as Figure 2 shows, this is the pattern observed after 2001.

Figure 2. Output share of state-owned holding industrial enterprises as share of total industry output (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004-2015)

Figure 2. Output share of state-owned holding industrial enterprises as share of total industry output (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Statistics (JSBS) (various years)

  • 2 Composed by Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Zhenjiang.

25As can be seen, Nanjing has a remarkably high share of state-owned holding enterprises in the industrial sector, well above the average for Southern Jiangsu2. Suzhou, on the other hand, displays the opposite trend. Again, this should not come as a surprise, given the massive privatization process experienced throughout the 1990s, which focused primarily on small and medium SOEs and COEs. The canonical “Sunan model” was effectively dismantled, and gave birth to a distinct institutional arrangement in the region. Nanjing, given the large-scale nature of its industrial SOEs, was to a reasonable extent spared from this process. As the data reveals, however, state-owned holding enterprises are already below 50% of the total industrial structure, indicating the loss of importance of the traditional SOE sector and the growth of other types of ownership. Crucially for this comparison, nevertheless, the gap between Nanjing and Suzhou is still remarkable.

26The loss of importance of state ownership is also associated with the increasing prominence of foreign capital in Southern Jiangsu, especially after 1992. As seen before, both cities managed to attract a great deal of FDI, making use of the establishment of a plethora of DZs and industrial parks, with Suzhou being more successful in that matter. The scrutiny of the second institutional form, engagement with foreign capital and foreign markets, follows logically. Figure 3 depicts the share of FIEs as part of the total industrial output:

Figure 3. Output share of FIEs as share of total industrial output (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2002-2015)

Figure 3. Output share of FIEs as share of total industrial output (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2002-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)

27As can be seen, both cities have a considerable share of FIEs in their respective industrial structures. Nevertheless, whereas in Suzhou the share of FIEs has been always above 50%, and always above the average for Southern Jiangsu, Nanjing displays more modest figures. This is a direct result of the distinct strategies pursued by both cities: Suzhou was the trailblazer in the region when it comes to attracting FDI and since the late 1980s the city has taken the lead in luring foreign capital and in endeavouring to promote the “strategic coupling” between its local characteristics (cheaper labour and land, geographical proximity to Shanghai and ports, establishment of DZs etc.) and the needs of foreign capital, especially of Taiwanese origin and concentrated in the ICT sector (Wang & Lee, 2007).

28On this note, it is licit to believe that a higher presence of FIEs is expected to be matched with a higher share of exports as well. Therefore, another indicator related to the second institutional form, engagement with foreign capital and foreign markets, is a locality’s share of the current of trade in its local GDP. Figure 4 depicts this data for both cities:

Figure 4. Current of trade as local GDP share (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (1998-2015)

Figure 4. Current of trade as local GDP share (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (1998-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)

29As can be seen, there is a great gap between the performances of Suzhou and Nanjing in this matter. Suzhou, since the beginning of the series, has presented higher figures. This is just an echo of Suzhou’s higher dependence on FIEs, whose strategy is to use the city as an export platform. In other words, quantitatively speaking Suzhou presents a degree of engagement with foreign markets and foreign capital of markedly distinct magnitude than Nanjing. The average line for Southern Jiangsu, always positioned in between the performance of both cities (with the exception of 2001), attests to this characterization.

30As alluded to above, the locational decisions of many FIEs are determined by labour costs. Hence, one is invited to analyse the third institutional form, labour markets and the wage-labour nexus. As is well-known, larger and wealthier Chinese cities attract substantial inflows of migrant workers, normally lured by jobs at the manufacturing sector. While wages seemed to grow very slowly until the mid-1990s, in the 2000s urban wages started to experience an upward movement (Freeman, 2015; Li et al., 2012). Figure 5 depicts this trend up to 2015, with the data separated by ownership status:

Figure 5. National average urban wages (yuans/Year, 2015 prices), by ownership type (1995-2015)

Figure 5. National average urban wages (yuans/Year, 2015 prices), by ownership type (1995-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) (various years)

31The data presented shows an impressive trend of rising urban wages in China. Interestingly enough, one may observe that there are differences in the levels of wages when the ownership of firms is taken into account. SOEs have wages normally only slightly above the urban average. FIEs, tellingly, present very distinct behaviour according to the home country of the investments: Units with funds from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan pay normally below the urban average, especially during the 2006-2013 period. Other FIEs (i. e., foreign-invested enterprises from countries other than the previous three) on the other hand offer the highest compensation.

32With this scenario in mind, the data for urban wages in Nanjing and Suzhou will be presented:

Figure 6. Annual average urban wages (yuans/year; 2015 prices): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2015)

Figure 6. Annual average urban wages (yuans/year; 2015 prices): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)

33Apart from the predicted steep increase in wages for both cities, it becomes noticeable that Nanjing consistently offers higher wages than Suzhou. Moreover, during most of the period, the data for Suzhou is below the average for Southern Jiangsu, while Nanjing is always superior than the average. This pattern, of Suzhou and Nanjing representing opposite archetypes of institutional characteristics in the broader Southern Jiangsu region, has already been observed in the previous institutional forms presented. As seen before, the type of foreign capital attracted by Suzhou was precisely looking for export-promotion and relatively lower labour costs (Wei, 2015b), and thus the data from Figure 6 above should not be surprising.

34Another aspect of local labour markets one should pay attention to is the number of migrant workers a city is able to attract. While is common sense to verse about the magnitude of the inflow of rural-urban migration, this inflow is unevenly distributed in urban China. Normally, cities featuring a large share of manufacturing enterprises, especially in labour-intensive sectors, tend to receive more migrant workers. Indeed, according to Cai, Park and Zhao (2008, p. 194), 40.3% of China’s migrant workers were based in manufacturing sectors.

35While both cities attract substantial numbers of migrant workers, the gap between them is very pronounced. It is possible to display the data on migrant workers as a share of each city’s permanent population. This strategy allows us to control for the city size and also to compare both cities with the average of Southern Jiangsu, as in Figure 7:

Figure 7. Migrant population as proportion of permanent population (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2006-2015)

Figure 7. Migrant population as proportion of permanent population (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2006-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)

36As is evident, Suzhou has considerably higher figures than Nanjing. What is more, when Southern Jiangsu is included, the same pattern seen before emerges: Nanjing and Suzhou seem to typify two distinct patterns of institutional characteristics in the region, one well below and the other well above the average. When one keeps in mind the contrast between the ownership structures of the two cities, this gap becomes fairly understandable. Suzhou, dominated by FIEs aiming at making use of cheap labour and betting on exports for the world markets, has attracted more migrant workers, as expected.

37This discussion on labour markets leads to the fourth institutional form to be analysed: the education sector. It has already been suggested that China’s labour market is segmented and that ownership patterns matters when analysing wage gaps. What’s more, there is empirical evidence pointing out that returns to schooling are generally greater for non-SOEs and non-COE enterprises (Cai, Park & Zhao, 2008) and for FIEs in general (Démurger, Li & Yang, 2012).

38Nanjing and Suzhou display distinct outcomes for educational indicators. To start with, the basic indicator of average years of schooling will be presented.

Figure 8. Average years of schooling (years): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2000 and 2010)

Figure 8. Average years of schooling (years): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2000 and 2010)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the NBS (2010)

39The data reveals Nanjing consistently has a higher average of years of schooling. Both cities increased their figures by roughly 26% over the period, with Nanjing keeping its initial advantage. Another useful indicator is related to higher education specifically, and data on the yearly number of students graduating from universities and colleges are of great relevance in this study, as shown in Figure 9:

Figure 9. Number of university and college students graduating per year as share of registered population (persons per 1000): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2012)

Figure 9. Number of university and college students graduating per year as share of registered population (persons per 1000): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2012)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)

40It is obvious from Figure 9 that Nanjing has considerably more graduates from HEIs. And just like in the previous figure, one can once again notice that the average for Southern Jiangsu falls in between the two cities, denoting that Nanjing has better educational figures while Suzhou lags behind the whole region.

41These quantitative indicators resonate well with other qualitative studies regarding education and human infrastructure in general in the two cities. Wang, Shen & Chang. (2015) have already noticed that Suzhou has no leading universities or national-level research centres. The fact that Suzhou is a prefecture-level city with lower status than provincial capitals or centrally-administrated municipalities hinders its potential for central support in this realm. Indeed, normally Chinese leading universities and research centres are located either in provincial capitals or centrally-administrated municipalities (Wei, Luo & Zhou, 2009).

42The fact that, in spite of these weaknesses, Suzhou managed to grow very quickly from the early 1990s onwards and even to become a “model” to be emulated by other localities in China is of course related to its particular accumulation regime, centred on a large influx of FDI and export-promotion. A crucial matter in this regime is the type of FDI the city attracts, and how to make best use of it. Suzhou bet on the attraction of technologically-leading TNCs which, once established in the city, started to network with other FIEs in the YRD, excluding indigenous companies from their contractual networks (Wei, 2015b). The absence of a previous base of high-tech indigenous companies in Suzhou, in conjunction with the lack of top-level HEIs and poorer educational figures seriously undermines the city’s ability to take advantage of knowledge spillovers from FIEs and to promote indigenous innovation (Chen, 2014). On the other hand, the city takes advantage of the sheer number of FDI seeking low labour costs.

  • 3 The sum of engineers, agricultural technicians, scientific research personnel, health technicians a (...)
  • 4 Due to data limitations, the figures provided are only for 2014 and 2015.

43A final indicator of the education sector is the relative size of the specialized workforce3 in both cities4:

Figure 10. Number of technical personnel per 1000 employed: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2014-2015)

Figure 10. Number of technical personnel per 1000 employed: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2014-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)

44Nanjing’s workforce seems to have a higher share of technicians and skilled workers than Suzhou. The latter, in its turn, again is below the average for the region. This is not to say that Suzhou’s productive structure does not require skilled and qualified workers: in his study of Suzhou and Kunshan, Wei (2002) reports that FIEs established there tend to hire college graduates or cheap rural migrants, creating a dual labour market. His findings conform well with the nature of China’s segmented labour markets, as seen before. FIEs in Suzhou do hire college graduates, especially for managerial and white-collar positions, while simultaneously relying on the city’s supply of cheap labour.

  • 5 The “211 Schools Project” is a national-level initiative with the intention of raising the research (...)

45Nanjing, as the data on the previous three figures reveals, leads the comparison in terms of educational indicators. Indeed, while Nanjing features 54 HEIs, Suzhou has only 21. When it comes to qualitative indicators, Nanjing has 8 institutions which are part of the “211 Schools Project”5, while Suzhou has only 1. Currently, Nanjing can be regarded as possessing the most developed university system in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD), and its share of population with a university degree, at roughly 26%, surpasses even the figure for Shanghai and is much higher than Suzhou’s (15%) (Klibaner et al., 2014, p. 10). Moreover, alongside the establishment of numerous DZs, Nanjing also initiated the development of some “university towns”, with the objective of attracting overseas returnees and to compete with other key cities in the YRD, like Hangzhou and Shanghai. This is part of a broader strategy to become an innovation hub and to facilitate the development of high-tech industries (Wei, 2015a).

  • 6 If economic activity in the city under consideration is fully concentrated in a sector, the index e (...)

46The next institutional form to be analysed delves more specifically into the degree to which the productive structure of a locality is diversified and/or specialized. As discussed previously, Suzhou had to reinvent its growth strategy during the 1990s due to the limitations and shortcomings of the “Sunan model”. The new strategy, based on the attraction of FDI and exports, was an opportunity for the city to attract GPNs, especially in the ICT sector. Nanjing, on the other hand, could rely on an already more consolidated and diversified industrial base and took a less enthusiastic attitude towards foreign capital. Figure 11 below shows the relative diversification index6 for the two cities, at two different points of time:

Figure 11. Relative diversification index: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004 and 2013)

Figure 11. Relative diversification index: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004 and 2013)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years) and NBS (various years)

  • 7 The higher the index, the higher the output specialization in that sector. As certain sectors accou (...)

47As can be seen, Nanjing has a more diversified industrial structure, in both periods of time. What is more, the gap between Nanjing and Suzhou grows from 2004 to 2013, as the city becomes more diversified and Suzhou actually becomes less diversified. Tellingly, both cities are below the regional average, denoting that in spite of important differences between them, the two cities are relatively specialized in some sectors. Having said that, it becomes imperative to analyse the relative specialization index for them. Figure 12 provides the figures for the relative specialization index7 of the leading manufacturing sector in each city. It turns out that both cities have the same sector, “computer, communications and other electronic equipment manufacturing”, as their leading manufacturing sector.

Figure 12. Relative specialization index of the leading manufacturing sector for Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004 and 2013)

Figure 12. Relative specialization index of the leading manufacturing sector for Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004 and 2013)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years) and NBS (various years)

48Suzhou, as expected, has the highest index for the sector. One cannot overlook the fact that the term ICT, often employed in business analysis and in academic papers alike, is vaguely defined. According to Zuppo (2012) in her literature review on the usage of the term “ICT”, the reference to ICT as an economic sector is understood to include manufactured goods like electronic displays, various types of cable, instruments for navigating, cell phones, wireless modems and access points, and numerous other types of electronic and wireless connectivity-related devices. The term ICT does not appear in the official Chinese classification of manufacturing sectors, but it is safe to assume that the “computer, communications and other electronic equipment manufacturing” is the closest in meaning and in products manufactured with the idea of an ICT sector as defined by Zuppo (2012). Therefore, that is not a surprise that this is the leading sector in Suzhou. Moreover, Suzhou’s specialization index actually increases over time, denoting an increasing specialization in this sector.

  • 8 Nanjing’s software sector was China’s third largest by revenue in 2010, only behind Beijing and She (...)

49Nanjing, in turn, also has a relatively high specialization index for 2004 (above the region’s average), but later experienced a decline and by 2013 it was already below Southern Jiangsu’s average. The data reveals that Nanjing also has an important base of ICT companies, and managed to modernize its industrial structure. Recall that Nanjing is also home to a great number of FIEs, as Figure 3 depicts. In addition to that, scholarly research (Klibaner et al., 2014) indicates that Nanjing has been trying to upgrade and further diversify its industrial base, moving towards the electronics, automobiles and aerospace sectors. For instance, by 2014 the aircraft manufacturer AVIC (a SOE) had established a new plant in the Jiangning Development Zone. Moreover, Nanjing also has a more developed services sector than Suzhou. This is partly due to the city’s sizeable higher education and related research sectors and its investments in the software sector8.

50Lastly, it is time to delve into the final institutional form: financing. The Chinese financial system is still heavily dominated by banking institutions. According to Yi and Guo (2015) the banking sector corresponds to roughly 90% of total assets of the financial sector. The system remains remarkably domestic-owned, and in spite of the undeniable trend of marketization in the sector, important restrictions, biases and controls currently exist in the system. Of particular interest for this study, there seems to be an academic consensus that when it comes to loan allocation, multiple mechanisms explain the existence of a bias towards large SOEs rather than to private small and medium enterprises (Chen, Li & Zhang, 2016; Ohkuma, 2010; Wang & Wang, 2013). FIEs, on the other hand, are considered to rely little on China’s financial system, because they can draw funds from their headquarters abroad.

51Given this background, and considering the overwhelmingly distinct patterns of state-ownership in Nanjing and Suzhou, one would expect that the former would rely much more on bank loans than the latter. Figure 13 reveals the trends of banks loans as a share of the local GDP for both cities:

Figure 13. Bank loans as a share of local GDP (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2015)

Figure 13. Bank loans as a share of local GDP (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)

52As expected, Nanjing has consistently higher bank loans as a share of the local GDP. Nanjing’s strong base of large-scale SOEs, plus the possible political advantages of being a provincial capital dovetails with the high figures presented above. Suzhou, on the other hand, is systematically below the regional average, with the exception of the final years of the series, when the city steadily increased its loans and caught-up with Southern Jiangsu’s average. This final catch-up might be related to recent policies aiming at spurring indigenous innovation in the city, which require state-directed funding (Wei, 2015b).

53Another aspect worthy of mention is China’s stock market. While still limited in size when compared to the banking system, it is steadily enhancing its importance. The number of listed companies increased from only 10 in 1990 to 1088 in 2000 and to 2613 in 2014 (NBS, 2015, table 19.16). However even in the stock markets the relevance of the Chinese state is paramount, with the great majority of listed firms being large SOEs (Song, 2015).

54The prominent state power in the sector is not simply reflected by the dominance of SOEs, but also by the “going public” process, which is heavily permeated by state control and regulations. The Chinese central state has the power to determine the aggregate number of new shares that can be issued annually (Allen, Qian & Qian, 2008) and to manage a de facto “quota” system, which selects the number of firms which are allowed to go public every year. Empirical studies point out that firms with stronger political connections are more likely to be approved for an IPO in the “quota” system (Li & Zhou, 2015), and that thence firms lacking it are more likely to search for global financing, rather than domestic markets (Francis, Hasan & Sun, 2009). What’s more, if it is true that SOEs in general have an advantage in terms of connections, Francis, Hasan and Sun (2009) also conclude that SOEs that have the central government as their direct controlling shareholder are benefited more than SOEs which have other SOEs as their controlling shareholder (suggesting weaker ties with the central government for the latter).

55Given this scenario, one may now turn to the data on Nanjing’s and Suzhou’s listed companies. Figure 14 displays listed companies’ sales revenues as a share of the total gross industrial output of each city. As expected, Nanjing presents consistently higher figures, always above the regional average, while Suzhou’s figures are always below the average:

Figure 14. Listed Companies’ annual sales revenues as a proportion (%) of local gross industrial output: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2002-2015)

Figure 14. Listed Companies’ annual sales revenues as a proportion (%) of local gross industrial output: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2002-2015)

Source: own elaboration, based on data from the Wind Financial Terminal and the JSBS (various years)

56One obvious explanation for this pattern is that local firms in Nanjing are better connected with the authorities responsible for managing the “going public” process in China. That might happen due to Nanjing’s higher share of SOEs, while Suzhou has virtually privatized all of its state-sector. Another possibility is that Nanjing’s local officials are simply higher up in the provincial hierarchy, given Nanjing’s status as a provincial capital. Being better placed in the provincial government may guarantee preferential treatment to the companies under their purview. It is important to highlight that, according to Francis, Hasan and Sun (2009), the ultimate power over decisions in this realm is held by provincial or local governments. This is firstly because these are the governmental levels which have the strongest interests to help politically connected firms; secondly, because after the central government determines the aggregate number of new shares to be issued, provinces are the ones responsible for assigning the quotas to firms.

3. Path-dependency, institutions, institutional complementarities and accumulation regimes in Nanjing and Suzhou

57After laying down the study of the six institutional forms for Nanjing and Suzhou, one can now readily understand the interconnections between all the forms and how they may jointly cohere at the city-level. Each of the institutional forms is connected to the other five, given the particular historical legacies of Nanjing and Suzhou. It is the complementarity of each city’s six institutional forms – with their interrelationships reinforcing each other’s attributes – that renders the two cities with markedly distinct patterns of accumulation and growth. It can be seen that all six institutional forms are coherently inter-connected in the two cities. Table 2 summarizes the six institutional forms found in Nanjing and Suzhou:

Table 2. Summary of the institutional forms: Nanjing and Suzhou

Table 2. Summary of the institutional forms: Nanjing and Suzhou

Source: own elaboration

58The significance of path-dependent processes in the forging of these systems of city-level complementarities and ultimately distinct accumulation regimes is conspicuous. It is no coincidence that before analysing the institutional complementarities in both cities their historical background was presented (section 2.1.). Deeply-rooted historical processes have shaped the different institutional arrangements crafted by local elites in Nanjing and Suzhou. Recall the conceptualization of institutions as the representation of socio-political compromises resulting from the conflict among unequal agents, as defined in section 1.1. Moreover, recall that for the case of China, it can be argued that local officials and the local business sector (the local elites) often work in tandem in a pro-growth symbiotic partnership, making local states powerful catalysts of economic growth. The institutional forms one finds in Nanjing and Suzhou, as well as their complementarities, thus, are the manifestations of the (historically-determined) socio-political compromises crafted by local elites in these two cities. These local level institutional forms, to the extent they are actually complementary and coherent, renders both cities with specific accumulation regimes. The cases of Nanjing and Suzhou exemplify this framework.

59Taking Suzhou as an example, the legacies of a “hands-on” and active efforts of lower-level local governments cadres in coping with the process of marketization, coupled with the fading of a TVE-centred model, played a fateful role in shaping Suzhou’s accumulation regime in the post-2001 period. The leadership of Suzhou, bereft of a strong industrial base, actively executed a strategy of attracting foreign investments and becoming adaptable to the needs of foreign capital. Ultimately, these options translated into a strong engagement with foreign capital and markets, strong attraction of relatively cheap labour provided by migrant workers, lower dependence on domestic financing institutions and a higher concentration in one particular and dynamic economic sector, which enjoyed robust external demand.

60Crucially, one must highlight the socio-political compromises in the making of the city’s accumulation regime. Suzhou’s local officials were eager to attract foreign capital, especially from Taiwan. Wang and Lee (2007) vividly recount the interactions between Suzhou’s local officials and Taiwanese entrepreneurs. For example, from its onset, Suzhou New District (SND) industrial park established close ties with Taiwanese investors. SND’s cadres worked in close partnership with managers from BenQ, the first company to set up in the area. At the beginning, BenQ and the local authority of the SND even shared the same building, and they worked together in crafting the regulations and codes of the SND. Key Taiwanese investors would normally play the role of the middle-man in lobbying the local government for the type of regulations and procedures they were actually longing for; sometimes they would introduce Suzhou’s cadres to other Taiwanese managers, in order for the former to learn from the latter about the institutional design DZs should have in Suzhou. As Wang and Lee (2007) recall:

In some cases, leaders in the Taiwanese circle have established close relationships with party secretaries, mayors, and other high-ranking cadres in local states, and they have thus had easy access to the local power elites to help in transferring their experience in Taiwan to the localities. (p. 1883)

  • 9 Wang and Lee (2007) recall that Wu Li-gan, the owner of a Taiwanese company established in Kunshan, (...)

61Taiwanese investors gained a strong voice with local bureaucrats9, and eventually this relationship was institutionalised with the creation of the Taiwanese Investor Association, which was used by them to purposefully take part in local economic governance issues. In some cases, according to Wei (2010), foreign firms would wilfully hire local officials and establish connections with local firms, for “political purposes” (p. 91).

62This intense partnership obviously benefited foreign investors, as they succeeded in making DZs and industrial parks to be tailor-made in some aspects according to their own requirements amid the process of GPNs restructuring. In turn, Suzhou benefited from the establishment of new factories and production lines in the city, amid an intense process of city-level competition for investments in China. The key point is that the accumulation regime that ultimately emerged in Suzhou was predicated upon the mutually beneficial interactions among local leaders and the local economic elite. As the city did not count on a strong base of large-scale domestic firms, either state-owned or private, this local economic elite was forged due to the interlacing of foreign enterprises with the local state. This pro-growth symbiotic partnership shaped the nature of institutional complementarities found in Suzhou, and ultimately forged a specific accumulation regime, distinct from nearby cities like Nanjing.

63Indeed, the historical legacies the provincial capital received led to a very distinct set of institutional complementarities and hence to its own accumulation regime in the post-2001 period. The inheritance of a strong base of SOEs, central government planning and political connections of local cadres/managers with upper-level officials ultimately unfolded into a relatively weaker engagement with foreign capital and markets, weaker attraction of migrant workers and higher dependence of domestic institutions for financing.

64Once again, one must highlight the socio-political compromises in the making of the city’s accumulation regime. Nanjing, given its distinct background, forged a different type of partnership among its local elites. The close political ties between local cadres, local and central level SOEs were to a great extent preserved, and these cadre relations exerted strong influence over Nanjing’s local government strategies. Thus, Nanjing’s adaptation to China’s emerging environment of marketization and opening-up had to be mediated by the existing institutional setting, marked by the interests of large-scale, domestic-oriented SOEs on the one hand and the corresponding bureaucratic structure crystalized in the local state on the other (Chung, 2003).

65When, in the 1990s and especially after China’s accession to the WTO in 2001, Nanjing started to attract robust levels of FDI, the type of foreign capital inflow was of a different pattern in comparison to Suzhou. FDI in Nanjing came from a more diverse background, not being so concentrated from Taiwan. According to Wei, Luo and Zhou’s (2010) survey, the leading home-country was the United States, corresponding to 41.7% of the enterprises surveyed. The same survey revealed that the three most important factors guiding the locational decisions of FIEs in Nanjing are better investment incentives, proximity to ports, and government attitudes, with labour costs appearing only in fourth place. Not surprisingly, then, foreign investors are of the opinion that Nanjing promotes less transparent open-door policies when compared with Suzhou (Wei, Luo and Zhou, 2010).

66Contrariwise to Suzhou, the symbiotic partnership between local cadres and local business sectors in Nanjing was forged with the state sector always being a strong player. SOEs remained important in the city, often crafting JVs with foreign capital, and also by receiving the support of national level industrial policies (Wei, 2015a). This composition of interests shaped the nature of institutional complementarities found in Nanjing, and the accumulation regime that ultimately surfaced has on the city’s strong base of large-scale domestic firms a pivotal element. Foreign investors, while definitely a significant force in the local accumulation regime, do not seem to enjoy the same degree of influence as in Suzhou.

Conclusions

67This paper set out to compare two Chinese cities, which can be characterized by distinct institutional arrangements and accumulation regimes. Although both relatively wealthy and rich, Nanjing and Suzhou achieved this status typifying contrasting sets of local institutional complementarities. As such, each one of the institutional forms found conceivably reinforce each other and contribute to improving the functioning, coherence or stability of city-level institutional arrangements. While Nanjing relies more on SOEs, is more domestic-oriented, features higher wages, better educational standards, has a more diversified productive structure and is more reliant on domestic sources of financing, Suzhou presents a different characterization, relying more on FIEs, being more externally-oriented, featuring lower wages, worse educational indicators, a more specialized productive structure and being less reliant on domestic sources of financing. Indeed, these institutional arrangements seem to coalesce at the prefectural level, thus forging a system of local institutional complementarities that guarantees a systemic coherence for both cities. It is these institutional coherences, found at the local level, that warrant the possibility of distinct accumulation regimes to be generated and endure in prefecture-level cities in China.

68More fundamentally than simply listing these characterizations, this study highlighted that the institutional forms under scrutiny are the manifestation of certain, local-specific, socio-political compromises crafted by local elites. This resonates well with the regulationist approach developed by Amable (2003) and Boyer (2005), in which the diversity of institutional arrangements in modern capitalism can be explained by the heterogeneity of social and political struggles in any particular region.

69The contributions of this study to the literature are threefold: firstly, to the best of the author’s knowledge, this is the first coherent attempt to apply the concept of institutional complementarities in local China. Secondly, by doing so, it complements and provides empirical evidence to a literature arguing that it may be misleading to seek institutional coherences at the national level in contemporary China (Zhang & Peck, 2014). Thirdly, it also dialogues, complements and provides empirical evidence to recent political economy inquiries on contemporary China, such as the notion of Sino-capitalism (McNally, 2017). This approach argues that in China’s political economy there exist “a multitude of regulatory modes ranging from dirigiste to liberal laissez-faire, creating in turn several distinct regimes of production” (ibid., p. 12). In Sino-capitalism, the argument goes, “global integration, bottom-up networks of entrepreneurs, and top-down state guidance all coexist” (ibid., p. 4), and these elements normally “have tended to meet at the lower levels of the state apparatus” (ibid., p. 5). The study here presented illustrates these features of China’s political economy, indicating not only how these elements can be combined concretely in two localities, but also depicting the spatially-differentiated nature of them. In this vein, the study further contributes with a more in-depth analysis of local accumulation regimes in China, stimulating a more nuanced and balanced picture of China’s overall economic system.

70The paper, however, is not without its own limitations. For one, the selection of Nanjing and Suzhou as case studies meant that the analysis was often stuck in a SOEs/non-SOEs dichotomy, when in reality there are other important elements of state intervention in contemporary China other than ownership in industrial production. Secondly, the results and overall conclusions could also be strengthened if more case studies had been conducted. On that note, it would be very welcoming to see the framework developed here being employed in other studies analysing different prefecture-level cities.

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Notes

1 In Shazhou county, for instance, in 1985 SOEs corresponded to only 5.4% of the industrial output (Chung, 2003, p. 211).

2 Composed by Nanjing, Suzhou, Wuxi, Changzhou and Zhenjiang.

3 The sum of engineers, agricultural technicians, scientific research personnel, health technicians and teaching staff.

4 Due to data limitations, the figures provided are only for 2014 and 2015.

5 The “211 Schools Project” is a national-level initiative with the intention of raising the research standards of Chinese universities. In order to be part of the project, universities must meet certain scientific, technical, and human resources standards. In 2008, these universities consumed 70% of the national scientific research funding (People’s Daily, 2008).

6 If economic activity in the city under consideration is fully concentrated in a sector, the index equals 1. The index increases as activities in the city become more diverse. It is important to correct this measure for differences in sectorial output shares at the national level, as some sectors may be over-represented in the whole country. The relative diversification index, thus, sums the absolute value of the difference between each sector’s share in local output and its share in national output, for all sectors, for each city.

7 The higher the index, the higher the output specialization in that sector. As certain sectors account for a larger share of the overall national output than others, the relative index is calculated to correct for this. The share of each sector in local output is divided by its share in national output.

8 Nanjing’s software sector was China’s third largest by revenue in 2010, only behind Beijing and Shenzhen. The city even has some specific industrial parks for this purpose, like the Nanjing Software Valley.

9 Wang and Lee (2007) recall that Wu Li-gan, the owner of a Taiwanese company established in Kunshan, was known as the “foreign mayor” of the city.

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Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1. Number of prefecture-level cities, townships and villages (1990-2013)
Crédits Source: own elaboration based on data from the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-1.png
Fichier image/png, 70k
Titre Table 1. The six local-level institutional forms to be analysed
Crédits Source: adapted from Boyer (1988) and Amable (2003)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-2.png
Fichier image/png, 61k
Titre Figure 2. Output share of state-owned holding industrial enterprises as share of total industry output (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the Jiangsu Provincial Bureau of Statistics (JSBS) (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-3.png
Fichier image/png, 33k
Titre Figure 3. Output share of FIEs as share of total industrial output (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2002-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-4.png
Fichier image/png, 37k
Titre Figure 4. Current of trade as local GDP share (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (1998-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-5.png
Fichier image/png, 53k
Titre Figure 5. National average urban wages (yuans/Year, 2015 prices), by ownership type (1995-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-6.png
Fichier image/png, 62k
Titre Figure 6. Annual average urban wages (yuans/year; 2015 prices): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-7.png
Fichier image/png, 54k
Titre Figure 7. Migrant population as proportion of permanent population (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2006-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-8.png
Fichier image/png, 60k
Titre Figure 8. Average years of schooling (years): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2000 and 2010)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the NBS (2010)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-9.png
Fichier image/png, 34k
Titre Figure 9. Number of university and college students graduating per year as share of registered population (persons per 1000): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2012)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-10.png
Fichier image/png, 42k
Titre Figure 10. Number of technical personnel per 1000 employed: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2014-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-11.png
Fichier image/png, 34k
Titre Figure 11. Relative diversification index: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004 and 2013)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years) and NBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-12.png
Fichier image/png, 35k
Titre Figure 12. Relative specialization index of the leading manufacturing sector for Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2004 and 2013)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years) and NBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-13.png
Fichier image/png, 34k
Titre Figure 13. Bank loans as a share of local GDP (%): Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2001-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the JSBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-14.png
Fichier image/png, 42k
Titre Figure 14. Listed Companies’ annual sales revenues as a proportion (%) of local gross industrial output: Nanjing, Suzhou and Southern Jiangsu (2002-2015)
Crédits Source: own elaboration, based on data from the Wind Financial Terminal and the JSBS (various years)
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-15.png
Fichier image/png, 40k
Titre Table 2. Summary of the institutional forms: Nanjing and Suzhou
Crédits Source: own elaboration
URL http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/docannexe/image/16716/img-16.png
Fichier image/png, 137k
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Référence électronique

Alexandre De Podestá Gomes, « Local level institutional complementarities in contemporary China », Revue de la régulation [En ligne], 27 | 1er semestre/spring 2020, mis en ligne le 30 juin 2020, consulté le 23 septembre 2021. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/regulation/16716 ; DOI : 10.4000/regulation.16716

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Auteur

Alexandre De Podestá Gomes

Postdoctoral Researcher at Jacobs University Bremen, China Global Center, Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH, Campus Ring 1, 28759 Bremen, Germany; a.gomes@jacobs-university.de; Gomes, A.P. https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8704-4206

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Revue de la régulation est mise à disposition selon les termes de la Licence Creative Commons Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International.

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