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China Surplus Labor to Disappear by 2025, IMF Researchers Say

China’s economy will probably cross a threshold between 2020 and 2025 when the supply of low-cost workers runs out, necessitating a shift in the nation’s growth model, International Monetary Fund researchers said.

The world’s second-largest economy will reach the so-called Lewis Turning Point in that period, IMF economists Mitali Das and Papa N’Diaye wrote in a working paper released this week. The concept, named after the late economist and 1979 Nobel laureate W. Arthur Lewis, is associated with rapid losses of competitiveness for sweatshop industries in South Korea and Taiwan in the 1980s.