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A Culture of Kinship: Chinese Genealogies as a Souce for Research in Demographic Economics

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  • Carol H. SHIUE

    (University of Colorado, NBER, CEPR)

Abstract

This paper discusses the use of Chinese genealogies for research on economic demography. I focus both on what is known about the genealogy as a data source, and what are the open questions for future research. Chinese genealogies contain records at the individual level. With the publication of new catalogs and efforts to collect genealogies, the number of genealogies is even larger than previously thought, with most dating to the late Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) Dynasties. These records contain a rich source of information about the Chinese population history, over a period for which there is no alternative source of information. Yet, the source still remains largely unexploited. Although the work of transcribing the data is significant, and selection biases need to be carefully considered, preliminary analysis of the data for a sample of married men for Tongcheng County in Anhui Province suggests these data are a rich source of information for demographic and economics research.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol H. SHIUE, 2016. "A Culture of Kinship: Chinese Genealogies as a Souce for Research in Demographic Economics," JODE - Journal of Demographic Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 459-482, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvde:v:82:y:2016:i:4:p:459-482
    DOI: 10.1017/dem.2016.24
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    Cited by:

    1. Carol H. Shiue, 2017. "Human capital and fertility in Chinese clans before modern growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 351-396, December.
    2. David de la Croix & Matthias Doepke & Joel Mokyr, 2018. "Clans, Guilds, and Markets: Apprenticeship Institutions and Growth in the Preindustrial Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(1), pages 1-70.
    3. Wang-Sheng Lee & Ben G. Li, 2019. "Extreme Weather and Long-term Health: Evidence from Two Millennia of Chinese Elites," CEH Discussion Papers 09, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    4. Hu, Sijie, 2020. "Survival of the Confucians: social status and fertility in China, 1400-1900," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 104040, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Shiue, Carol Hua, 2019. "Social Mobility in the Long Run: A Temporal Analysis of China from 1300 to 1900," CEPR Discussion Papers 13589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Lee, Wang-Sheng & Li, Ben G., 2021. "Extreme weather and mortality: Evidence from two millennia of Chinese elites," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Genealogical data; Chinese historical demography; Lineage Population; Intergenerational linked data;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J10 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - General
    • N00 - Economic History - - General - - - General

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