Thomas Piketty China domestic inequality Socialdemokraterna/flickr

Piketty adapté à la Chine

HONG KONG – Dans son livre best-seller Le Capital au XXIe siècle, Thomas Piketty affirme que le capitalisme aggrave les inégalités à travers plusieurs mécanismes, qui sont tous basés sur l'idée que r (le rendement du capital) diminue moins vite que g (la croissance du revenu). Bien que le débat autour du travail de Piketty ait porté en grande partie sur les économies avancées, ce concept fondamental s’applique à l'expérience récente de la Chine et mérite donc un examen plus approfondi.

Bien sûr, une grande partie de la population chinoise a profité de trois décennies de croissance du PIB plus rapide que jamais auparavant. Les investissements en capital fixe qui ont formé la base du modèle de croissance de la Chine ont largement bénéficié à l’ensemble de l'économie ; l'amélioration des infrastructures, par exemple, a permis à la population rurale pauvre d'accroître sa productivité et ses revenus.

En parallèle à l'augmentation du taux d'investissement à près de la moitié du PIB, la part de la consommation est tombée à un niveau aussi faible qu'un tiers. Le gouvernement, reconnaissant la nécessité de rééquilibrer la croissance, a commencé à augmenter le salaire minimum en 2011 à un taux proche du double du taux de croissance du PIB réel, assurant au ménage moyen un revenu disponible plus élevé à dépenser.

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