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How Keynesian Economics Came to China


  • Paul B. Trescott


The central ideas of Keynes's General Theory were introduced into China soon after its publication in 1936. Yao Qingsan, who had studied in France, made the first known presentation. Numerous persons who had studied in England helped disseminate Keynes's ideas: Michael Lindsay, Fan Hong, Xu Yunan, Teng Maotong, Wu Qiyuan. Xu Yunan and Wang Chuanlun prepared a translation of the General Theory in the 1940s, but it was not published until 1957. At Harvard, Keynes's ideas were applied in several doctoral dissertations by Chinese students. H. D. Fong, one of the leaders of the Nankai University Institute of Economics, studied with Alvin Hansen in 1941 and promoted inclusion of Keynesian material in the Nankai curriculum. Several Nankai faculty and graduate students published expositions and applications of Keynes in the early 1940s. The communist government that came to power in 1949 expressed strong disapproval of Keynes's ideas. This became a major element in the anti-rightist movement of 1957–58. However, after Mao Zedong's death in 1976, Keynesian ideas (although unacknowledged) figured prominently in government demand-management policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul B. Trescott, 2012. "How Keynesian Economics Came to China," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 44(2), pages 341-364, Summer.
  • Handle: RePEc:hop:hopeec:v:44:y:2012:i:2:p:341-364

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    Cited by:

    1. Malcolm Warner, 2014. "On Keynes and China: Keynesianism 'with Chinese Characteristics'," Working Papers 201402, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.

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    John Maynard Keynes; China; Keynesian economics;


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