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

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  • Shiue, Carol Hua

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 individual level records at the individual level. With the publication of new catalogues 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 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

  • Shiue, Carol Hua, 2016. "A Culture of Kinship: Chinese Genealogies as a Source for Research in Demographic Economics," CEPR Discussion Papers 11614, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11614
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    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. 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).
    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. 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.
    6. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Chinese historical demography; Genealogical data; intergenerational linked data; lineage population;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

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