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Climate Shocks, State Capacity, and Peasant Uprisings in North China during 25-1911 CE

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  • Qiang Chen

    (School of Economics, Shandong University)

Abstract

China provides an interesting case study of civil conflict because of her long history and rich records. Using a unique dynastic panel dataset for north China during 25-1911 CE, this study finds that severe famines and dynastic age were positively correlated with peasant uprisings, whereas government disaster relief as a proxy for state capacity played a significant mitigating role. Negative climate shocks (e.g., severe drought, locust plagues) affected peasant uprisings primarily through the channel of severe famines. The effects of population density, temperature, and other climate shocks (e.g., flood, levee breaches, snow disasters, and frost) were either not robust or insignificant.

Suggested Citation

  • Qiang Chen, 2013. "Climate Shocks, State Capacity, and Peasant Uprisings in North China during 25-1911 CE," SDU Working Papers 2013-01, School of Economics, Shandong University.
  • Handle: RePEc:shn:wpaper:2013-01
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    8. Haiwen Zhou, 2023. "Unification and Division: A Theory of Institutional Choices in Imperial China," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 24(1), pages 13-37, May.
    9. Shengda Zhang & David Dian Zhang & Qing Pei, 2021. "Spatiotemporal shifts of population and war under climate change in imperial China," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 165(1), pages 1-19, March.
    10. Wang, Shengquan, 2023. "Income inequality and systemic banking crises: A nonlinear nexus," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 47(4).
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    JEL classification:

    • N45 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - Asia including Middle East
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development

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