University of Nottingham Ningbo China
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Warfare, political institution and long run economic trajectory

18 April 2014 (14:00-15:30)

The School of Contemporary Chinese Studies is pleased to invite you to the seminar presented by Dr Debin Ma, an Associate Professor in the department of Economic History at the London School of Economics; chaired by Professor Stephen Morgan, Dean of Social Sciences, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China.

About the seminar

Dr Ma's paper discusses the historical origin of a centralized and unitary empire in Chinese history and its long-term consequences on the evolution of Chinese political institutions and economic development. Based on systematic compilation of incidences of warfare, Central government taxation, bureaucracy over the last two thousand years of Chinese history, my research re-examines the important question of political institutions on long-run Chinese economic trajectory in the theoretical framework of Institutional Economics. In the presentation, I will also demonstrate how long-term historical insights help us better under economic changes in the 19-20th century and contemporary China.

Speaker biography

Debin Ma is an Associate Professor in the department of Economic History at the London School of Economics. He is also the special term Professor and external chair in the Economic History Department at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. He currently serves as the Secretary General and Executive Committee member of the International Economic History Association (IEHA). He is on the Editorial Board of Economic History Review, Explorations in Economic History and on the Advisory Board of Economic History of Developing Regions. His research interests include long-term economic growth in East Asia; international comparison of living standards, human capital and productivity; long-run growth; comparative legal and political history. His extended review essay on long-run Chinese economic growth (co-authored with Loren Brandt and Thomas Rawski) appears in the Journal of Economic Literature. With Jan Luiten van Zanden, he co-edited the volume: Law and Long-Term Economic Change: A Eurasian Perspective (Stanford University Press, 2011). His other publications have appeared in Journal of Economic History, Economic History Review, Explorations in Economic History, Economic Development and Cultural Change, Review of Income and Wealth.