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China’s Long-Term Economic Development

How Have Economy and Governance Evolved since 500 BC? Hongjun Zhao, Professor of Economics and Business, Shanghai Normal University, China
This book examines the evolution of Chinese governmental governance and its long-lasting impact on Chinese economic development, firstly by examining the formation of Chinese style governance, the core contents of this governance and its vitality compared to other governance patterns in Chinese history. Secondly, this book discusses the effectiveness of this governance in supporting economic development before the Song dynasty and its failure in serving economic development during the past three to five centuries. Ultimately, Hongjun Zhao predicts the direction Chinese governance will take in the next 20 years.



Extent: 384 pp
Hardback Price: $155.00 Web: $139.50
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978 1 78471 595 3
Availability: In Stock
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  • Economics and Finance
  • Asian Economics
  • Economic History
This book takes a long-term perspective to examine the evolution of Chinese governance and its lasting impact on Chinese economic development. Through its broad exploration of the style, strength, and effectiveness of Chinese governance through the years, it touches on a universal relationship between economic development and governance and institutions, translating the experiences of one of the world’s oldest civilizations into widespread, current economic relevance.

Hongjun Zhao first examines the formation of Chinese style governance, the core contents of this governance, and its vitality compared with other governance patterns in Chinese history. He also discusses the effectiveness of this governance pattern in supporting the economic development before the Song dynasty, the failure of this governance during the past 3-5 centuries and the governmental role in pushing development since 1978. Finally, he makes a prediction of the direction of Chinese governance patterns in over the next 20-30 years.

Scholars and researchers interested in China's long term economic development will appreciate this comprehensive examination of the subject, as will high level undergraduate and graduate students interested in keeping pace with China’s rapid development.
‘This book offers an exciting indigenous perspective on the Chinese governance model and Professor Hongjun Zhao is to be applauded for his invaluable contribution!’
– Tony Fang, Stockholm University, Sweden

‘This book traces the root of China's past failure as well as its success since 1978 to the inertia of its government governance, which was in turn shaped by its environment, geography and natural endowment. The book makes an important contribution to the Neo-institutional school by introducing geographical factors to explain the puzzling stability of the traditional Chinese government governance and the new challenges this type of governance is facing in an increasing globalizing world.’
– Guanzhong James Wen, Trinity College, US

‘Professor Zhao’s book offers us a unique and valuable perspective on China’s present and future from a historical perspective. The book also makes use of a large amount of valuable quantitative statistics on various aspects of Chinese history.’
– Debin Ma, London School of Economics, UK

‘In this book, Professor Zhao provides us with “the China equilibrium” model, a model of Chinese governance and institutional change in the long run. This model was unique compared to the western one and useful for scholars and readers to understand the long run evolution of Chinese economy and governance.’
– Weisen Li, Fudan University, China

‘Cultural norms are usually endogenous responses to survival challenges faced by a society, so some of these norms come and go while other norms stay and accumulate to cause long-lasting impact on later institutions and governance structures. Professor Zhao's work is a good exercise showing us that one cannot fully understand what is happening in China today without going back to the old roots. His contributions to the literature are impressive and invaluable.’
– Zhiwu Chen, University of Hong Kong

‘China's long history offers an incredible possibility of studying how institutions and governance evolve over time. Zhao's book is amazing in the sense it places China's recent economic development in the context of institutional equilibrium.’
– Jun Zhang, Fudan University, China




Contents: 1. Introduction 2. Debate and Comment about the Needham Puzzle Over the Past Half-century 3. The Behavior of the Peasants and their Households: the Logical Starting Point for the Study of the Puzzle in Chinese Economic History 4. The Petty Peasant Economy and the Formation of Chinese-style Governmental Governance 5. The Dynamic Evolution of the Chinese Governance Pattern in Each Dynasty 6. Chinese Climatic and Environmental Changes after the Tenth Century and Their Impacts on the Chinese Governance Pattern 7. The Rise of Western Europe After the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Its Challenges to the Chinese Governance Pattern 8. Empirical Evidence of the Chinese Governmental Governance and Long-term Economic Development 9. The Reform and Opening-Up: A Great Transformation of the Governance Pattern in Chinese History 10. Where does the Future Path of Chinese Governance Lie? Index