The Institutional Causes of China's Great Famine, 1959-61
This paper investigates the institutional causes of China's Great Famine. It presents two empirical findings: 1) in 1959, when the famine began, food production was almost three times more than population subsistence needs; and 2) regions with higher per capita food production that year suffered higher famine mortality rates, a surprising reversal of a typically negative correlation. A simple model based on historical institutional details shows that these patterns are consistent with government policy failure in a centrally planned economy in which the government is unable to easily collect and respond to new information in the presence of an aggregate shock to production.
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.
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.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2010|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.|
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820
|Order Information:|| Email: |
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.:
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1974.
"Prices vs. Quantities,"
Review of Economic Studies,
Oxford University Press, vol. 41(4), pages 477-491.
- M. L. Weitzman, 1973. "Prices vs. Quantities," Working papers 106, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Gale Johnson, D., 1998. "China's great famine: Introductory remarks," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 103-109.
- Dennis Tao Yang, 2007. "China's Agricultural Crisis and Famine of 1959-61: A Survey and Comparison to Soviet Famines," Working Papers e07-4, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Department of Economics.
- Wei Li & Dennis Tao Yang, 2005. "The Great Leap Forward: Anatomy of a Central Planning Disaster," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(4), pages 840-877, August.
- Zeckhauser, Richard J, 1996. "The Economics of Catastrophes," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 12(2-3), pages 113-140, May.
- Carol H. Shiue, 2002. "Transport Costs and the Geography of Arbitrage in Eighteenth-Century China," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1406-1419, December.
- Martin Ravallion, 1997. "Famines and Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1205-1242, September.
- Ravallion, Martin, 1996. "Famines and economics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1693, The World Bank.
- Lin, Justin Yifu & Yang, Dennis Tao, 2000. "Food Availability, Entitlements and the Chinese Famine of 1959-61," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 136-158, January.
- Justin Yifu Lin & Yang, Dennis, 1995. "Food Availability, Entitlement and the Chinese Famine of 1959-61," Working Papers 95-24, Duke University, Department of Economics.
- Matthew E. Kahn, 2005. "The Death Toll from Natural Disasters: The Role of Income, Geography, and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 271-284, May.
- Lin, Justin Yifu, 1990. "Collectivization and China's Agricultural Crisis in 1959-1961," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1228-1252, December.
- Justin Yifu Lin, 1990. "Collectivization and China's Agricultural Crisis in 1959-1961," UCLA Economics Working Papers 579, UCLA Department of Economics.
- Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-1034, December.
- O'Rourke, Kevin, 1994. "The Economic Impact of the Famine in the Short and Long Run," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 309-313, May.
- Kevin H. O'Rourke, 1993. "The economic impact of the famine in the short and long run," Working Papers 199331, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Weitzman, Martin L, 1970. "Iterative Multilevel Planning with Production Targets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(1), pages 50-65, January.
- Martin L. Weitzman, 1967. "Iterative Multi-Level Planning with Production Targets," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 239, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Shiue, Carol H., 2004. "Local Granaries and Central Government Disaster Relief: Moral Hazard and Intergovernmental Finance in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century China," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(01), pages 100-124, March. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)