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Economic growth in the Lower Yangzi region of China in 1911–1937: a quantitative and historical analysis

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  • Ma, Debin

Abstract

Through a detailed reconstruction of 1933 GDP for the two provinces in China's most advanced region, the Lower Yangzi, I show that their per capita income was 55 percent higher than China's average, and they had experienced a growth and structural change between 1914–1918 and 1931–1936 comparable to contemporaneous Japan and her East Asian colonies. This article highlights the unique political institution of early-twentieth-century Shanghai as a city state, with its rule of law and secure property rights laying the foundation for economic growth in the Lower Yangzi with long-term impact throughout East Asia.

Suggested Citation

  • Ma, Debin, 2008. "Economic growth in the Lower Yangzi region of China in 1911–1937: a quantitative and historical analysis," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 32398, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:32398
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/32398/
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    Cited by:

    1. Chaudhary, Latika & Musacchio, Aldo & Nafziger, Steven & Yan, Se, 2012. "Big BRICs, weak foundations: The beginning of public elementary education in Brazil, Russia, India, and China," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 221-240.
    2. Shi Zhihong Yuping & Xuyi & Ni Yuping & Bas van Leeuwen, 2015. "Chinese National Income, ca. 1661-1933," Working Papers 0062, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    3. Robert C. Allen & Jean-Pascal Bassino & Debin Ma & Christine Moll-Murata & Jan Luiten Van Zanden, 2011. "Wages, prices, and living standards in China, 1738–1925: in comparison with Europe, Japan, and India," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64, pages 8-38, February.
    4. Niv Horesh, 2015. "Gerschenkron Redux? Analysing New Evidence on Joint-Stock Enterprise in Pre-War Shanghai," Asian-Pacific Economic Literature, Asia Pacific School of Economics and Government, The Australian National University, vol. 29(1), pages 25-46, May.
    5. Loren Brandt & Debin Ma & Thomas G. Rawski, 2014. "From Divergence to Convergence: Reevaluating the History behind China's Economic Boom," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(1), pages 45-123, March.
    6. repec:bla:ozechr:v:57:y:2017:i:3:p:368-393 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Yuchtman, Noam, 2017. "Teaching to the tests: An economic analysis of traditional and modern education in late imperial and republican China," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 70-90.
    8. Yuan, Tangjun & Fukao, Kyoji & Wu, Harry X., 2010. "Comparative output and labor productivity in manufacturing between China, Japan, Korea and the United States for ca. 1935 - A production-side PPP approach," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 325-346, July.
    9. MA, Ye & JONG, Herman de, 2016. "Unfolding the Turbulent Century: A Reconstruction of China's Economic Development, 1840-1912," Discussion paper series HIAS-E-29, Hitotsubashi Institute for Advanced Study, Hitotsubashi University.
    10. James Kai‐Sing Kung & Nansheng Bai & Yiu‐Fai Lee, 2011. "Human capital, migration, and a ‘vent’ for surplus rural labour in 1930s China: the case of the Lower Yangzi," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 64(s1), pages 117-141, February.
    11. Ma, Debin & Yuan, Weipeng, 2013. "Discovering Chinese Economic History from Footnotes: the Living Tale of a Private Merchant Archive (1800-1850)," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 164, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    12. Alexander F. McQuoid & Yi Ding & Cem Karayalcin, 2017. "Fiscal Federalism, Fiscal Reform, and Economic Growth in China," Departmental Working Papers 57, United States Naval Academy Department of Economics.

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    JEL classification:

    • N0 - Economic History - - General

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