Yet from a different perspective, it’s far less impressive. First, official statistics probably paint too flattering a picture. Per-capita income may be a quarter lower than reported, based on a study of nighttime light co-authored by Yingyao Hu of Johns Hopkins University. Alternative data such as tax collections suggest growth was 1.8 points slower than reported from 2010 to 2016, Chang-Tai Hsieh of the University of Chicago and three co-authors conclude. Second, it doesn’t measure up to the economies China seeks to emulate. Taiwan, South Korea and Japan all opened their economies to global trade and investment, enjoyed superfast growth for several decades, then slowed as they reached middle-income status—the early 1970s for Japan, the 1980s and early 1990s for Taiwan and South Korea. In theory, China should be able to sustain rapid growth even longer because rich countries such as the U.S. have pushed the technological frontier out […]