IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

High corruption income in Ming and Qing China

  • Ni, Shawn
  • Van, Pham Hoang

We develop an economic model that explains historical data on government corruption in Ming and Qing China. In our model, officials extensive powers result in corrupt income matching lands share in output. We estimate corrupt income to be between 14 to 22 times official income resulting in about 22% of agricultural output accruing to 0.4% of the population. The results suggest that eliminating corruption through salary reform was possible in early Ming but impossible by mid-Qing rule. Land reform may also be ineffective because officials could extract the same rents regardless of ownership. High officials incomes and the resulting inequality may have also created distortions and barriers to change that could have contributed to Chinas stagnation over the five centuries 1400-1900s.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 81 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 316-336

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:81:y:2006:i:2:p:316-336
Contact details of provider: Web page:

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. Lui, Francis T., 1986. "A dynamic model of corruption deterrence," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 215-236, November.
  2. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 2002. "Economic Backwardness in Political Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 3261, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  4. Sheetal K. Chand & Karl Ove Moene, 1997. "Controlling Fiscal Corruption," IMF Working Papers 97/100, International Monetary Fund.
  5. Pranab Bardhan, 1997. "Corruption and Development: A Review of Issues," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1320-1346, September.
  6. repec:oup:qjecon:v:104:y:1989:i:3:p:537-64 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Cadot, Olivier, 1987. "Corruption as a gamble," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 223-244, July.
  8. International Monetary Fund, 1997. "Corruption and the Rate of Temptation: Do Low Wages in the Civil Service Cause Corruption?," IMF Working Papers 97/73, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Acemoglu, D. & Verdier, T., 1996. "Property Rights, Corruption and the Allocation of Talent: A General Equilibrium Approach," DELTA Working Papers 96-12, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  10. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, June.
  11. Lin, Justin Yifu, 1995. "The Needham Puzzle: Why the Industrial Revolution Did Not Originate in China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 269-92, January.
  12. Andvig, J.C. & Ove Moene, K., 1988. "How Corruption May Corrupt," Memorandum 20/1988, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  13. Basu, Kaushik & Bhattacharya, Sudipto & Mishra, Ajit, 1992. "Notes on bribery and the control of corruption," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 349-359, August.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:110:y:1995:i:3:p:681-712 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Dilip Mookherjee, 1997. "Wealth Effects, Incentives and Productivity," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 77, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  16. Gary S. Becker, 1968. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 169.
  17. Ronald Max Hartwell, 1981. "Taxation in England during the Industrial Revolution," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 1(1), pages 129-153, Spring.
  18. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:503-30 is not listed on IDEAS
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:81:y:2006:i:2:p:316-336. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.