I happen to know that this was Stiglitz's position at the time
Well, if by "democratization before privatization" in China Stiglitz means that small private businesses were legalized before (some, not all)
commanding heights enterprises were privatized, and that crop-selection decisions were put into the hands of individual peasant households before
this privatization occurred as well, then he's right. I don't know what else he could mean, frankly. Because nothing much that a liberal centrist like
Stiglitz would label "democratization" has occurred under the reform-era CPC, save the direct election of town and village party chiefs (with all the
candidates being vetted by the CPC in advance).