An analysis of the factors that contributed to economic growth in China in the past three decades.
With the reduction of the working-age population and the increase of the population dependency ratio as the main characteristics of the demographic dividend having disappeared, China’s potential growth rate decreases. And our results suggest that demographic dividend contributed to nearly one forth of the economic growth in China in the past three decades, while TFP growth explains another one third with the remainder mainly due to capital accumulation, explaining nearly half. China’s potential growth rate will slow down—from nearly 10 per cent in the past 30 years to 7.5 per cent on average during 2011-2015—due to the diminished demographic dividend, but reform measures are conductive to clearing the institutional barriers to the supply of factors and productivity, thereby slowing the declining trend of potential growth rate. The aggregate reform dividend (e.g., relax family planning policy, postpone the retirement age, improvement of education and training, tax cut, and improvement of TFP) could reach to 1-2 percentage points on average during 2016-2050.