China’s growth momentum is now entrenched in its political economy, but will be destabilized by the resulting water shortages and pollution.
Historically, China’s culture and institutions were shaped by the high social returns to large-scale water management, but today its market-driven local governments have little capacity or motivation to address the looming water crisis.
Instead, the likely response is the interception of neighbouring countries’ water flows, whose sources are conveniently concentrated in Tibet.
Talk given on 31 May 2013 at Birkbeck University, London.
Leslie Young was born in Guangzhou, China but grew up in Levin, New Zealand. He earned a B.Sc. Honours and M.Sc. at Victoria University of Wellington and a D.Phil. in Mathematics at Oxford.
He was a Junior Research Fellow at Lincoln College, Oxford, Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Canterbury, V. F. Neuhaus Professor of Finance at The University of Texas at Austin, and Wei Lun Professor of Finance at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
He is currently Professor of Economics at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in Beijing.