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Week 3 Reading Baten Et Al. Notes

History And Economics Notes > Chinese Economic History Since 1850 Notes

This is an extract of our Week 3 Reading Baten Et Al. document, which we sell as part of our Chinese Economic History Since 1850 Notes collection written by the top tier of London School Of Economics And Political Science students.

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EH207: Topic 3 Reading - BMMW - Evolution of Living Standards and Human Capital in China in 18th to 20th Century

Baten, Ma, Morgan and Wang - Evolution of Living Standards and Human Capital in China in 18th to 20th Century Introduction

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Rapid accumulation of physical and human capital led to East Asia catch-up after WWII Lack of systematic and comparable data for China Decline in living standards and human capital after mid 19 th century o Recovery at turn of the century Data suggests that living standards were similar to backward parts of Europe in 18th and 19th century o Confirming the traditional view o Contrary to revisionism (Pomeranz 2000, Lee et al. 2002)
? Claim Asian living standards on par with Europe in 18 th century However, age heaping index (numerical abilities) data shows Chinese human capital was closer to North-Western Europe Low living standards vs. high human capital

Real Wage

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GDP per capita does not capture non-market income o Important in developing economies Attempts by Allen, Bassino, Ma, Moll-Murata and van Zanden (2007) attempt to use real wage to fill data for China in 18 th and 19th centuries o Focuses on wage histories of Canton, Beijing, and lower Yangzi o Criticism: Focuses only on urban unskilled workers
? Is this representative and comparable?
? But it is probably the best we have available Divergence in living standards of workers in urban centres of China from Netherlands and England in 18th century o However, places like Milan were at a similar level to China Second divergence = Backward parts of Europe and Japan crept ahead of China and London increase it's divergence Gamble (1943) data spans entire 19th Century o Useful because it was a time of 'economic dislocation'
? E.g. Taiping Revolution

Heights

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Important complementary measure of living standards (Fogel, Komlos et al.) o Capture biological component of wealth

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