Archives: tom Orlick

I did a post yesterday touting a podcast by Jing Ulrich on China’s economy.  In that post, I referred to Ms. Ulrich as belonging “on the very short list of those discussing China’s economy who actually know whereof they speak.”  In response to that, I received the following comment from “Michael RightSite”:

Hi Dan,

Since the list is short, can you name some others who are worth listening to? (Granted that we all have our biases).



To which, I responded as followings:

I know I will be leaving people off this list, but generally, it is those who actually have advanced degrees in economics and/or those who actually study/report on China’s economy who know the most.  That should not be a surprise.  And I want to stress that I do not necessarily agree with any of these people, but I do respect their analysis.  Having said all this, here goes:  Michael Pettis, Patrick Chovanac, Tom Orlick (who writes for the WSJ), Elias C. Grivoyannis.  I am sure there are a lot more out there working at universities or investment banks, but these are the ones who write a fair amount and with whom I am familiar.  Would love to hear about more though.

I really would, as I know that I am leaving out a number of very good economists who often write about China (in fact, there is one who I frequently read, but whose name escapes me right now).  So it would be great if you, loyal readers, would in the comments list out the economists that frequently write about China’s economy, in English, and do so from a position of knowledge, not mere uninformed speculation.  Thanks.

UPDATE:  The person I read, but whose name escaped me — but has since returned, thanks to a comment below — is Andy Xie.  I definitely also should have mentioned Nicholas Lardy, especially since my daughter is reading his excellent book, Sustaining China’s Economic Growth after the Global Financial Crisis for her emerging economies course and I read large swaths of it when she left it at my house for a few days.

Tom Orlick of the Wall Street Journal has an article entitled, “Exporters’ Gain Is Workers’ Loss in China’s Labor,” [link no longer exists] focusing on China wage rates. Though wages are definitely still rising, they are rising at 9% to 15%, not the 20% to 30% many had predicted. Orlick describes these lower than expected wage increases as “a short-term blessing and a long-term curse:

For now, it means a smaller contribution to inflationary pressure and contains costs for exporters, already facing a squeeze from yuan appreciation and pricey raw materials. Textile producers are absorbing a 150% rise in cotton prices over a year.

Longer term, exporters’ gains are workers’ losses. Tepid wage increases will do little to put more money in workers’ pockets or fulfill Beijing’s aim of rebalancing from foreign to domestic demand.

What do you think?