Location of Repository

Preliminary Draft for Discussion

By Debin Ma, Long Denggao, Maarten Prak, Kenneth Pomeranz and Thomas Rawski


Abstract: Using newly reconstructed data series of two millennia and half on warfare and durations of political unification and fragmentation, this article provides a new interpretation of the evolution of traditional Chinese political regime in the perspective of new institutional economics. Structured within a principal-agent model with three major actors: the emperor, the bureaucracy and the people, the article shows that while monopoly rule, long time-horizon and large size of empire could lead absolutist regime like traditional China to a path of low-taxation, political stability and extensive growth, fundamental incentive misalignment and information asymmetry problem embedded in its centralized and hierarchical political structure significantly weakened the regime ’ fiscal and financial capacity to support institutions and institutional change conducive to modern economic growth. Using comparable series of fiscal revenue, the paper makes a comparative case study of Imperial Qing (1644-1911) with early modern Western Europe

Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/v... (external link)
  • http://delong.typepad.com/debi... (external link)
  • Suggested articles

    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.