Pension reform in China: under the shadow of the World Bank




Zheng, Lizhao

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This thesis situates the ongoing changes to pension schemes in China within the macro legal and economic conditions in that country, and contextualizes these changes in light of international influences, particularly the influence of the World Bank. Drawing on such contextualization, this thesis explores a number of related factors, including the rule of law, economic development and pension reform strategy in order to understand both the need for and flaws in pension reform in China during the past three decades. This thesis argues that the pension system has mirrored China’s economic reforms. The marketization process that began in the late 1970s impelled China to make fundamental pension reforms. The fact that China has not yet achieved the rule of law further complicates the pension reform process. This thesis concludes that the pension reforms that have been inspired by the World Bank pension model have not been ideal reform choices for China; however, several steps on the way to fundamental reform are suggested as being worth trying in China’s current economic and legal climate.



pension reform, World Bank, China, rule of law, marketization