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Title: The state in Chinese economic history
Authors: Qian, Jiwei 
Sng, Tuan-Hwee 
Keywords: institutions and growth
state capacity
Issue Date: 20-Sep-2021
Publisher: WILEY
Citation: Qian, Jiwei, Sng, Tuan-Hwee (2021-09-20). The state in Chinese economic history. AUSTRALIAN ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW 61 (3) : 359-395. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: We survey the recent economics and history literature on the Chinese state to investigate its role in China's long-term socioeconomic development. We highlight three insights. First, unlike in Europe, where interstate competition helped give rise to capitalist states with high capacity, the Chinese state emerged from a different historical context. Second, the 18th- and 19th-century Chinese state does not fit into the mould of a strong and extractive Oriental despotic state as once commonly believed. By conventional measures, early modern China had a weak state. Third, state building and centre-local relations are two useful dimensions to understand development and change in China's recent history and political economy. To adapt China to a changing world, Chinese state builders embarked on a long process of state building from the late-19th century through the Republican and Communist eras. Facilitated partly by regional decentralisation, the process now sees the Chinese state playing a substantially larger role in the economy and everyday life than any previous time in history.
ISSN: 0004-8992
DOI: 10.1111/aehr.12226
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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