Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

China’s Foreign Trade: Perspectives From the Past 150 Years

Contents:

Author Info

  • Wolfgang Keller
  • Ben Li
  • Carol H. Shiue

Abstract

This paper studies the trade of China in the past 150 years, starting from the first opening of China after the Opium War. The main purpose of the paper is to identify what is (and was) China’s ‘normal’ level of foreign trade, and how these levels changed under different trade regimes, from 1840 to the present. We present new evidence on China’s foreign trade during the treaty port era (1842-1948), drawn from disaggregated trade data collected by the Chinese Maritime Customs Service, that yields important findings for current research. First, although the volume of foreign trade remained limited initially, there was a notable expansion in the diversity of products, with many new goods being imported into China. Second, the regional diffusion of foreign goods through China was greatly facilitated by the expansions of the port system. Third, the importance of Hong Kong as an intermediary in China’s trade has undergone long-term fluctuations suggestive of learning effects. China’s recent wave of liberalization has led by the early 1990s to a trade level comparable to the high of the 1920s. While much of China’s recent growth in world trade is in line with her income growth, there is no doubt that China’s trade openness today, comparable by some measures to Denmark’s, is a stunning reversal relative to the pre-1978 and also the pre-1840 period. The paper emphasizes the roles that history and institutional change have played in this.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16550.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16550.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Wolfgang Keller & Ben Li & Carol H. Shiue, 2011. "China’s Foreign Trade: Perspectives From the Past 150 Years," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(6), pages 853-892, 06.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16550

Note: DAE ITI POL
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Shang-Jin Wei & Jaebin Ahn & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2010. "The Role of Intermediaries in Facilitating Trade," Working Papers id:2557, eSocialSciences.
  2. repec:nbr:nberwo:13346 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Andrei A. Levchenko, 2007. "Institutional Quality and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 791-819.
  4. Brandt,Loren, 2005. "Commercialization and Agricultural Development," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521022866, April.
  5. Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "What Accounts for the Rising Sophistication of China's Exports?," NBER Working Papers 13771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert C. Feenstra & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "China's Growing Role in World Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen07-1, octubre-d.
  7. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface)," Trinity Economics Papers tep0107, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  8. Nunn, Nathan, 2007. "Relationship-Specificity, Incomplete Contracts, and the Pattern of Trade," Scholarly Articles 4686801, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Wing Thye Woo, 1997. "Understanding China's Economic Performance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1793, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. William R. Cline, 2010. "Renminbi Undervaluation, China's Surplus, and the US Trade Deficit," Policy Briefs PB10-20, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  11. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  12. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 2004. "Intermediaries in Entrepot Trade: Hong Kong Re-Exports of Chinese Goods," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 3-35, 03.
  13. John Whalley, 2006. "China in the World Trading System," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(2), pages 215-245, June.
  14. Keller, Wolfgang & Shiue, Carol Hua, 2004. "Market Integration and Economic Development: A Long-Run Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 4310, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Amiti, Mary & Freund, Caroline, 2008. "The anatomy of China's export growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4628, The World Bank.
  16. Pol Antràs & Arnaud Costinot, 2011. "Intermediated Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(3), pages 1319-1374.
  17. Kyoji Fukao & Kozo Kiyota & Ximing Yue, 2006. "China's Long-Term International Trade Statistics: By Commodity, 1952-1964 and 1981-2000," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-147, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  18. Gordon H. Hanson & Raymond Robertson, 2010. "China and the Manufacturing Exports of Other Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: China's Growing Role in World Trade, pages 137-159 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2008. "How Much of Chinese Exports is Really Made In China? Assessing Domestic Value-Added When Processing Trade is Pervasive," NBER Working Papers 14109, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Trade," NBER Working Papers 8712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Rawski, Thomas G., 1969. "Chinese dominance of treaty port commerce and its implications, 1860-1875," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-2), pages 451-473.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Jennifer Abel-Koch, . "Who uses intermediaries in international trade? Evidence from firm-level survey data," Discussion Papers 11/25, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  2. Funke, Michael & Yu, Hao, 2011. "The emergence and spatial distribution of Chinese seaport cities," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 196-209, June.
  3. Loren Brandt & Debin Ma & Thomas G. Rawski, 2012. "From Divergence to Convergence: Re-evaluating the History Behind China's Economic Boom," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd11-217, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  4. Dobado-González, Rafael, 2013. "La globalización hispana del comercio y el arte en la Edad Moderna
    [The hispanic globalization of commerce and art in the early modern era]
    ," MPRA Paper 51112, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Wilson Au-Yeung & Alison Keys & Paul Fischer, 2012. "Australia-China: Not just 40 years," Economic Roundup, Treasury, Australian Government, issue 4, pages 7-41, December.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16550. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.