China's terms of trade : with special reference to Sino-British trade
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China is the largest developing country in the world, and yet internationally comparable data about her economy is very scarce, to the detriment of our knowledge both of China and the Third World as a whole. This thesis attempts to piece together a crucial statistic, her terms of trade, from the 1930's when the last major Chinese series ends to the 1970's when CIA estimates become available. Because of the lack of Chinese data, the thesis constructs core unit value indexes for Sino- British trade from British returns,and subsequently adjusts the com¬ ponent weights to allow for the difference in composition between China's trade with Britain and her trade with the West. This necessitates the development of a specific methodology and the meticulous construction of the Sino-British indexes at a high level of disaggregation. Chapter One examines the available statistics and explains the strategy of using British data. Some of the problems of defining Sino- British trade, especially undeclared indirect trade via Hong Kong, are examined in Chapter Two, while Chapter Three describes the methodology and documents the structure of the sample (which incorporates some 600 commodities). Chapters Four and Five describe the intellectual and historical contexts in which the study is located. Chapters Six and Seven construct the core indexes, Chapter Eight examines the weighting modes used, Chapter Nine focuses on the 1930's and links the British indexes with the Chinese ones. Chapter Ten analyses the price movement of the components of Sino-British trade over the period and Chapter Eleven arrives at an estimate of China's terms of trade with the West and links up with the 1970's statistics, thus completing China's long-term terms of trade from 1867 to 1976. The investigation is extensively documented with some 1,000 pages of tables and figures.