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Opinion
Noah Smith

China Is Very, Very, Very, Very Big

Based on population, China's economy was destined to be bigger than the U.S.'s.
An economic heavyweight. 
An economic heavyweight. 

Larry Summers and Lant Pritchett have written a paper predicting a Chinese growth slowdown. In 2013, Barry Eichengreen, Donghyun Park, and Kwanho Shin wrote a paper with much the same message, which accurately predicted the recent Chinese slowdown from about 10 percent annual growth to about7.5 percent. In fact, the most basic model of economic growth, the Solow Model, predicts that a country's growth slows as it gets richer. Yes, the case for a Chinese slowdown is pretty incontrovertible at this point.

According to many pundits, this means that, like the Soviet Union and Japan before it, China doesn't threaten to supplant the U.S. as the world's biggest economy. For example, here is Neil Irwin of the New York Times: