Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Hellman Faculty Fellow
Meg Rithmire is an assistant professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit, where she teaches the course of the same name in the MBA required curriculum. Professor Rithmire holds a PhD in Government from Harvard University, and her primary expertise is in the comparative political economy of development with a focus on China. Her first book, Land Bargains and Chinese Capitalism (Cambridge University Press, 2015), examines the role of land politics, urban governments, and local property rights regimes in the Chinese economic reforms. A new project investigates the influence of diasporas, and the overseas Chinese communities in particular, in the progress of economic and political reforms in the homeland. She is a faculty associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs and the Fairbank Center for East Asian Studies at Harvard. In 2015, she won the Faculty Teaching Award in the Required Curriculum.
Land Bargains and Chinese Capitalism: The Politics of Property Rights under Reform
Land reforms have been critical to the development of Chinese capitalism over the last several decades, yet land in China remains publicly owned. This book explores the political logic of reforms to land ownership and control, accounting for how land development and real estate have become synonymous with economic growth and prosperity in China. Drawing on extensive fieldwork and archival research, the book tracks land reforms and urban development at the national level and in three cities in a single Chinese region. The study reveals that the initial liberalization of land was reversed after China's first contemporary real estate bubble in the early 1990s and that property rights arrangements at the local level varied widely according to different local strategies for economic prosperity and political stability. In particular, the author links fiscal relations and economic bases to property rights regimes, finding that more "open" cities are subject to greater state control over land.
Professor Rithmire discusses her book at the ChinaLab podcast