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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter analyses the behavior of peasants and their households in Chinese history. It critically reviews the theory of the imbalanced ratio of population and land and discusses China’s long-term economic development from a macro perspective. The author analyses the various constraints faced by Chinese peasants and their families and uses a simple model to explain the production choice of peasant families. Evidence about the income and expenditure of representative peasant households in China’s major dynasties is then provided followed by a case study about a machine handicraft factory replaced by a Chinese traditional cotton textile handicraft workshop.

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China’s Long-Term Economic Development

How Have Economy and Governance Evolved since 500 BC?

Hongjun Zhao

This book examines the evolution of Chinese governmental governance and its long-lasting impact on Chinese economic development, firstly by examining the formation of Chinese style governance, the core contents of this governance and its vitality compared to other governance patterns in Chinese history. Secondly, this book discusses the effectiveness of this governance in supporting economic development before the Song dynasty and its failure in serving economic development during the past three to five centuries. Ultimately, Hongjun Zhao predicts the direction Chinese governance will take in the next 20 years.
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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter discusses Chinese climatic and environmental changes after the tenth century and their impacts on the Chinese governance pattern such as changes of comparative power between the nomadic tribes and the Han nation, the southward shift of the population and economic center in China, and challenges to the governance pattern. Finally, the author compares the influencing mechanism, countermeasures and enlightenment regarding climatic and environmental change in ancient and modern times.

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter provides a literature review of the reasons why China developed earlier than Europe before 1400 but became backward gradually after 1500, which was broadly defined as the so-called Needham puzzle. The author reviews the most relevant literatures in economics, sociology, history, political science, philosophy, and so on, comparing their hypotheses and arguments, indicating the methodological biases in the different disciplines, putting forward the criteria of analysis of the Needham puzzle, and selecting some new hypotheses that economists can use to analyse the long-term economic development of China during the past thousand years.

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter discusses the dynamic evolution of the Chinese governance pattern in each dynasty, first, by providing the content of governmental governance to be discussed, second, through reviewing the governance pattern in each dynasty before the tenth century AD and after that.

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter provides empirical evidence of the Chinese governance and long-term economic development from the perspective of dynastic alternation and demographic changes in history, the change of governance pattern in Chinese history and GDP per capita, governance pattern and technological progress in Chinese history, respectively.

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Hongjun Zhao

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter discusses the background and significance of the study, and introduces the main subjects and basic concepts of the book, such as the peasant economy and governmental governance. The author presents an overview of the book, the research method used, and conclusion, and indicates the innovation and limitation of the study.

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter discusses the formation and consolidation of the petty peasant economy in Chinese history and the efficiency advantage, status, and impacts of it in Chinese economy and society. The author analyses its important institutional connection with Chinese governance using a long-term institutional framework, discusses its main characteristics and its impact on the inertial pattern of Chinese governance, and finally, draws the conclusion that the economic nature of centralized governance in Chinese history is an institutional equilibrium.

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Hongjun Zhao