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Yasuyuki Sawada

Open access

Edited by Elisabetta Gentile

Open access

Edited by Elisabetta Gentile

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Kenneth Boutin

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter analyses the behavior of peasants and their households in Chinese history. It critically reviews the theory of the imbalanced ratio of population and land and discusses China’s long-term economic development from a macro perspective. The author analyses the various constraints faced by Chinese peasants and their families and uses a simple model to explain the production choice of peasant families. Evidence about the income and expenditure of representative peasant households in China’s major dynasties is then provided followed by a case study about a machine handicraft factory replaced by a Chinese traditional cotton textile handicraft workshop.

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter discusses Chinese climatic and environmental changes after the tenth century and their impacts on the Chinese governance pattern such as changes of comparative power between the nomadic tribes and the Han nation, the southward shift of the population and economic center in China, and challenges to the governance pattern. Finally, the author compares the influencing mechanism, countermeasures and enlightenment regarding climatic and environmental change in ancient and modern times.

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter provides a literature review of the reasons why China developed earlier than Europe before 1400 but became backward gradually after 1500, which was broadly defined as the so-called Needham puzzle. The author reviews the most relevant literatures in economics, sociology, history, political science, philosophy, and so on, comparing their hypotheses and arguments, indicating the methodological biases in the different disciplines, putting forward the criteria of analysis of the Needham puzzle, and selecting some new hypotheses that economists can use to analyse the long-term economic development of China during the past thousand years.

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter discusses the dynamic evolution of the Chinese governance pattern in each dynasty, first, by providing the content of governmental governance to be discussed, second, through reviewing the governance pattern in each dynasty before the tenth century AD and after that.

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Hongjun Zhao

This chapter provides empirical evidence of the Chinese governance and long-term economic development from the perspective of dynastic alternation and demographic changes in history, the change of governance pattern in Chinese history and GDP per capita, governance pattern and technological progress in Chinese history, respectively.

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Hongjun Zhao