IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hit/hiasdp/hias-e-29.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Unfolding the Turbulent Century: A Reconstruction of China's Economic Development, 1840-1912

Author

Listed:
  • MA, Ye
  • JONG, Herman de

Abstract

This paper reconstructs China's economic development between 1840 and 1912 with an estimation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It provides for the first time a time series of GDP (per capita) for the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), based on sectoral output and value added, in current as well as in constant prices. The present estimation of per capita GDP in the late Qing period comes out higher than previous estimations, but it still suggests low average levels of Chinese living standards. The economy during the late Qing Empire was characterised by a large and growing agricultural sector and displayed only minor structural changes. Only in the beginning of the twentieth century did the economy start to show signs of growth.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:hit:hiasdp:hias-e-29
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://hermes-ir.lib.hit-u.ac.jp/hermes/ir/re/27951/070_hiasDP-E-29.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Wolfgang Keller & Ben Li & Carol H Shiue, 2013. "Shanghai's Trade, China's Growth: Continuity, Recovery, and Change since the Opium Wars," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 61(2), pages 336-378, June.
    3. Jutta Bolt & Jan Luiten Zanden, 2014. "The Maddison Project: collaborative research on historical national accounts," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(3), pages 627-651, August.
    4. Williamson, Jeffrey G., 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: terms of trade booms, volatility and the poor periphery, 1782–1913," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 355-391, December.
    5. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913," NBER Working Papers 13841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Broadberry, Stephen & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2012. "India And The Great Divergence: An Anglo-Indian Comparison Of Gdp Per Capita, 1600-1871," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 81, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    7. David S. Jacks & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2011. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 800-813, August.
    8. Bassino, Jean-Pascal & Broadberry, Stephen & Fukao, Kyoji & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Takashima, Masanori, 2015. "Japan and the Great Divergence, 725-1874," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 230, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    9. van Zanden, Jan Luiten & van Leeuwen, Bas, 2012. "Persistent but not consistent: The growth of national income in Holland 1347–1807," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 119-130.
    10. Broadberry, Stephen & Custodis, Johann & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2015. "India and the great divergence: An Anglo-Indian comparison of GDP per capita, 1600–1871," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 58-75.
    11. Stephen Broadberry & Bruce Campbell & Alexander Klein & Mark Overton & Bas van Leeuwen, 2012. "British Economic Growth, 1270-1870: an output-based approach," Studies in Economics 1203, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    12. Baten, Joerg & Ma, Debin & Morgan, Stephen & Wang, Qing, 2010. "Evolution of living standards and human capital in China in the 18-20th centuries: Evidences from real wages, age-heaping, and anthropometrics," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 347-359, July.
    13. Broadberry, Stephen N & Fukao, Kyoji & Zammit, Nick, 2015. "How Did Japan Catch-Up On The West? A Sectoral Analysis Of Anglo-Japanese Productivity Differences, 1885-2000," CEPR Discussion Papers 10570, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. 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.
    15. Kyoji Fukao & Debin Ma & Tangjun Yuan, 2007. "Real Gdp In Pre‐War East Asia: A 1934–36 Benchmark Purchasing Power Parity Comparison With The U.S," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(3), pages 503-537, September.
    16. Yi Xu & Zhihong Shi & Bas Leeuwen & Yuping Ni & Zipeng Zhang & Ye Ma, 2017. "Chinese National Income, ca. 1661–1933," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 57(3), pages 368-393, November.
    17. Bassino, Jean-Pascal & Broadberry, Stephen N & Fukao, Kyoji & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Takashima, Masanori, 2015. "Japan And The Great Divergence, 725-1874," CEPR Discussion Papers 10569, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Ma, Debin, 2008. "Economic Growth in the Lower Yangzi Region of China in 1911–1937: A Quantitative and Historical Analysis," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 68(2), pages 355-392, June.
    19. repec:dgr:rugggd:gd-147 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Toru Kubo, 2005. "Industrial Development in Republican China,Newly Revised Index: 1912-1948," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-118, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    21. Robert C. Allen, 2009. "Agricultural productivity and rural incomes in England and the Yangtze Delta, c.1620–c.18201," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 62(3), pages 525-550, August.
    22. XuYi & Bas van Leeuwen & Jan Luiten van Zanden, 2015. "Urbanization in China, ca. 1100–1900," Working Papers 0063, Utrecht University, Centre for Global Economic History.
    23. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2008. "Globalization and the Great Divergence: Terms of Trade Booms and Volatility in the Poor Periphery 1782-1913," Working Papers 08-07, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC).
    24. 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.
    25. Broadberry, Stephen & Fukao, Kyoji & Zammit, Nick, 2015. "How Did Japan Catch-up On The West? A Sectoral Analysis Of Anglo-Japanese Productivity Differences, 1885-2000," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 231, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. El-Shagi, Makram & Zhang, Lin, 2020. "Trade effects of silver price fluctuations in 19th-century China: A macro approach," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Broadberry, Stephen N & Guan, Hanhui & Li, David Daokui, 2017. "China, Europe and the great Divergence: A Study in Historical National Accounting, 980-1850," CEPR Discussion Papers 11972, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Yi Xu & Zhihong Shi & Bas Leeuwen & Yuping Ni & Zipeng Zhang & Ye Ma, 2017. "Chinese National Income, ca. 1661–1933," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 57(3), pages 368-393, November.
    3. Jutta Bolt & Jan Luiten Zanden, 2014. "The Maddison Project: collaborative research on historical national accounts," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 67(3), pages 627-651, August.
    4. Broadberry, Stephen & Guan, Hanhui & Li, David Daokui, 2017. "China, Europe and the Great Divergence: A Study in Historical National Accounting, 980-1850," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 324, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Broadberry, Stephen & Ghosal, Sayantan & Proto, Eugenio, 2017. "Anonymity, efficiency wages and technological progress," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 379-394.
    6. Broadberry, Stephen, 2013. "Accounting for the great divergence," Economic History Working Papers 54573, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    7. Peter H. Lindert, 2016. "Purchasing Power Disparity before 1914," NBER Working Papers 22896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Bassino, Jean-Pascal & Broadberry, Stephen & Fukao, Kyoji & Gupta, Bishnupriya & Takashima, Masanori, 2019. "Japan and the great divergence, 730–1874," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-22.
    9. Stephen Broadberry, 2021. "Accounting for the Great Divergence: Recent findings from historical national accounting," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 549, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    10. Peter M. Solar, 2021. "China, Europe, and the Great Divergence: Further Concerns about the Historical GDP Estimates for China," Working Papers 0217, European Historical Economics Society (EHES).
    11. Chilosi, David & Federico, Giovanni, 2015. "Early globalizations: The integration of Asia in the world economy, 1800–1938," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-18.
    12. Sambit Bhattacharyya & Jeffrey Williamson, 2013. "Distributional Impact of Commodity Price Shocks: Australia over a Century," CEH Discussion Papers 019, Centre for Economic History, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    13. Francis, Joseph A., 2014. "Resolving the Halperín Paradox: The Terms of Trade and Argentina’s Expansion in the Long Nineteenth Century," MPRA Paper 57915, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Stephen Broadberry & Bruce Campbell & Alexander Klein & Mark Overton & Bas van Leeuwen, 2012. "British Economic Growth, 1270-1870: an output-based approach," Studies in Economics 1203, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    15. Roger Fouquet & Stephen Broadberry, 2015. "Seven Centuries of European Economic Growth and Decline," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 227-244, Fall.
    16. Broadberry, Stephen & Custodis, Johann & Gupta, Bishnupriya, 2015. "India and the great divergence: An Anglo-Indian comparison of GDP per capita, 1600–1871," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 58-75.
    17. Laura Alfaro & Cathy Ge Bao & Maggie X. Chen & Junjie Hong & Claudia Steinwender, 2022. "Omnia Juncta in Uno: Foreign Powers and Trademark Protection in Shanghai's Concession Era," NBER Working Papers 29721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Nico Voigtl?nder & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2013. "Gifts of Mars: Warfare and Europe's Early Rise to Riches," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(4), pages 165-186, Fall.
    19. Broadberry, Stephen, 2013. "Accounting For The Great Divergence," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 160, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    20. Baomin Dong & Jiong Gong & Kaixiang Peng & Zhongxiu Zhao, 2015. "Little Divergence: Evidence from Cotton Textiles in Japan and China 1868–1930," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 776-796, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    China; GDP; 19th century; living standards;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
    • N15 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:hit:hiasdp:hias-e-29. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ashitjp.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Digital Resources Section, Hitotsubashi University Library (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ashitjp.html .

    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.