David Dollar has served as the World Bank's China Director and is currently the U.S. Treasury Department's Economic and Financial Emissary to China.
Before this assignment, Mr. Dollar worked as Director for the development research department of the World Bank, overseeing the Bank’s research on the investment climate and growth. He co-authored the recent World Bank reports Globalization, Growth, and Poverty and Assessing Aid. His earlier work focused on aid and growth, and the determinants of the success and failure of reform programs supported by structural adjustment lending. He has been a key World Bank spokesperson on investment climate, globalization, and the effectiveness of aid.
He has a PhD in economics from New York University and a B.A. in Chinese history and language from Dartmouth College.
David Dollar: I honestly think that it's very hard to say. Economics is easier to predict than politics in my view. So if you look at all of the advanced capitalist countries, I would argue that their economic systems are pretty similar. There are some differences, but these are fundamentally systems based on private property rights and free trade. They all belong to the World Trade Organization. On the other hand if you look at the political systems of the advanced capitalist countries, I would say they are enormously different. You've got presidential systems. You've got parliamentary systems. You have different types of presidential and parliamentary systems. So the evidence to me is that there are quite a few different democratic political systems that are consistent with being a wealthy country. And therefore I think it's very hard to predict what path of political change China will go down over the next 20 years or so.
Recorded on: 7/3/07