This study critically evaluates alternative estimates of China's GDP level and growth,
as well as its PPP GDP conversions, and, based on this evaluation, it draws important
implications for the understanding of China's economic performance in both historical
and international perspectives. It finds that although almost all empirical results
have supported the downward-bias hypothesis for China's GDP level and the upward-bias
hypothesis for China's GDP growth, they vary greatly, and that PPP estimates for
China are also diversified. These estimates, if accepted, may substantially alter
the existing views on the Chinese economy, particularly, its size, TFP level and
catch-up performance. The discusion docuses on the theories, methodologies and data
used in these studies, and particularly, the possible biases in their results thereby.
It argues, however, that despite differences in estimates, they could still provide
sensible boundaries for researchers to gauge the "real" values and hence assess China's
"real" living standard and growth performance.