IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Weather Shocks, Sweet Potatoes and Peasant Revolts in Historical China


  • Ruixue Jia

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)


Does production technology adoption affect conflict? This paper studies this question with yearly historical data on weather, peasant revolts and the diffusion of sweet potatoes in China between 1470 and 1900. It shows that droughts increased peasant revolts by about 10% whereas the effect of floods was not significant. Moreover, the diffusion of a new crop, sweet potatoes, mitigated the effects of droughts on revolts.

Suggested Citation

  • Ruixue Jia, 2011. "Weather Shocks, Sweet Potatoes and Peasant Revolts in Historical China," HiCN Working Papers 93, Households in Conflict Network.
  • Handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:93

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. D. de Walque & P. Verwimp, 2010. "The Demographic and Socio-economic Distribution of Excess Mortality during the 1994 Genocide in Rwanda," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 19(2), pages 141-162, March.
    2. de Walque, Damien, 2004. "The long-term legacy of the Khmer Rouge period in Cambodia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3446, The World Bank.
    3. Tilman Bruck & Kati Schindler, 2009. "The Impact of Violent Conflicts on Households: What Do We Know and What Should We Know about War Widows?," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 289-309.
    4. Andre, Catherine & Platteau, Jean-Philippe, 1998. "Land relations under unbearable stress: Rwanda caught in the Malthusian trap," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 1-47, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Michael D. König & Dominic Rohner & Mathias Thoenig & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2016. "The Long-lasting Shadow of the Allied Occupation of Austria on its Spatial Equilibrium," HiCN Working Papers 231, Households in Conflict Network.
    2. Marshall Burke & Solomon M. Hsiang & Edward Miguel, 2015. "Climate and Conflict," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 577-617, August.
    3. Qiang Chen & Yijiang Wang & Chun-lei Yang, 2014. "Taxation under Autocracy: Theory and Evidence from Late Imperial China," SDU Working Papers 2014-03, School of Economics, Shandong University.
    4. Iyigun, Murat & Nunn, Nathan & Qian, Nancy, 2017. "Winter is Coming: The Long-Run Effects of Climate Change on Conflict, 1400-1900," IZA Discussion Papers 10475, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Austin L. Wright, 2016. "Economic Shocks and Rebel," HiCN Working Papers 232, Households in Conflict Network.
    6. Daniel M. Bernhofen & Markus Eberhardt & Jianan Li & Stephen Morgan, 2015. "Assessing Market (Dis)Integration in Early Modern China and Europe," CESifo Working Paper Series 5580, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Fenske, James & Kala, Namrata, 2012. "Climate, ecosystem resilience and the slave trade," MPRA Paper 38398, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Qiang Chen, 2014. "Natural Disasters, Ethnic Diversity, and the Size of Nations: Two Thousand Years of Unification and Division in Historical China," SDU Working Papers 2014-01, School of Economics, Shandong University.
    9. Murat Iyigun & Nathan Nunn & Nancy Qian, 2017. "The Long-run Effects of Agricultural Productivity on Conflict, 1400-1900," NBER Working Papers 24066, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Kibriya, Shahriar & Xu, Zhicheng P. & Zhang, Yu, 2015. "Economic shocks, governance and violence: A subnational level analysis of Africa," 2015 AAEA & WAEA Joint Annual Meeting, July 26-28, San Francisco, California 205321, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association;Western Agricultural Economics Association.
    11. Richard Akresh, 2016. "Climate Change, Conflict, and Children," HiCN Working Papers 221, Households in Conflict Network.
    12. Maria Waldinger, 2015. "The effects of climate change on internal and international migration: implications for developing countries," GRI Working Papers 192, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    13. Deng, Kent, 2015. "China’s population expansion and its causes during the Qing period, 1644–1911," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 64492, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Maria Waldinger & Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, 2015. "The Effects of Climate Change on Internal and International Migration: Implications for Developing Countries," Working Papers id:7569, eSocialSciences.

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hic:wpaper:93. 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: (Alia Aghajanian) or () or () or (). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.