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Market Integration and Economic Development: A Long-run Comparison

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  • Wolfgang Keller
  • Carol H. Shiue

Abstract

How much of China's recent economic performance can be attributed to market-oriented reforms introduced in the last two decades? A long-run perspective may be important for understanding the process of economic development occurring today. This paper compares the integration of rice markets in China today and 270 years ago. In the 18th century, transport technology was non-mechanized, but markets were close to being free markets. We distinguish local harvest and weather from aggregate sources of price variation in a historical sample and in a similarly constructed contemporary sample. Findings indicate the degree of market integration in the 1720s is a very good predictor of per capita income in the 1990s. Moreover, the current pattern of interregional income in China is strongly linked to persistent geographic factors that were already apparent several centuries ago, well before the enactment of modern reform programs.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10300.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Publication status: published as Wolfgang Keller & Carol H. Shiue, 2007. "Market Integration and Economic Development: A Long-run Comparison," Review of Development Economics, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 11(1), pages 107-123, 02.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10300

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  1. Wolfgang Keller, 1997. "Are International R&D Spillovers Trade-Related? Analyzing Spillovers Among Randomly Matched Trade Partners," NBER Working Papers 6065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Paul Segerstrom & Elias Dinopoulos, 2004. "A Theory of North-South Trade and Globalization," 2004 Meeting Papers 30, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James Robinson, 2005. "The Rise of Europe: Atlantic Trade, Institutional Change, and Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 546-579, June.
  4. David L. Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2013. "Time as a Trade Barrier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2935-59, December.
  5. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol H., 2007. "The origin of spatial interaction," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 304-332, September.
  6. Kevin O’rourke & Jeffrey Williamson, 2005. "From Malthus to Ohlin: Trade, Industrialisation and Distribution Since 1500," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 5-34, 01.
  7. David T. Coe & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "International R&D Spillovers," NBER Working Papers 4444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alwyn Young, 2000. "The Razor's Edge: Distortions and Incremental Reform in the People's Republic of China," NBER Working Papers 7828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  10. Mario J. Crucini, 1999. "On International and National Dimensions of Risk Sharing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 73-84, February.
  11. Alwyn Young, 2000. "The Razor'S Edge: Distortions And Incremental Reform In The People'S Republic Of China," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1091-1135, November.
  12. Carol H. Shiue, 2002. "Transport Costs and the Geography of Arbitrage in Eighteenth-Century China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1406-1419, December.
  13. Abhijit Banerjee & Lakshmi Iyer, 2005. "History, Institutions, and Economic Performance: The Legacy of Colonial Land Tenure Systems in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(4), pages 1190-1213, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Chao Li & John Gibson, 2013. "Spatial Price Differences and Inequality in China: Housing Market Evidence," Working Papers in Economics 13/06, University of Waikato, Department of Economics.
  2. Wolfgang Keller & Ben Li & Carol H. Shiue, 2010. "China’s Foreign Trade: Perspectives From the Past 150 Years," NBER Working Papers 16550, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Liu, Bo & Keyzer, Michiel & van den Boom, Bart & Zikhali, Precious, 2012. "How connected are Chinese farmers to retail markets? New evidence of price transmission," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 34-46.
  4. Qinghua Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 2011. "Regional Inequality in Contemporary China," CEMA Working Papers 518, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.

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