Workshop on Chinese Economic Growth

The HINDI research group, in collaboration with the University of Utrecht and London School of Economics, will be organizing at Fri-Sat 15-16 December 2017 a workshop on the Economic History of China (approx. 1800 – present) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The aim of this workshop will be to bring together scholars with an joint academic interest in the economic transitions which China underwent during modern and recent times, in order to analyze the historic factors behind China’s current economic success.

The rise of China to become the world’s second-largest economy surely is the most dramatic development in the global economy over the past twenty-five years.  Its combination of market-led growth under the firm hand of a single-party government has produced a model of economic development that poses a serious challenge to conventional theories of capitalism and economic growth.  Increasingly, scholars seeking to explain the economic success of China have begun to look at possible historical antecedents for answers. This workshop will bring together scholars to analyze, for the period ca. 1800-present, the historical factors behind China’s current economic success.

Please download here the Planning of the Workshop (last update: 2017.12.13)

Please download here the Travel Instructions.

The packages of chapter draft and outline could be downloaded here CEHC vol.2 repository

(password is required)

(last update in 2017.12.13)

Utrecht University 

A Conference on Cambridge Economic History of China, volume 2: 1800 – Present

(Edited by Debin Ma and Richard von Glahn)


Dates and Location: Dec. 15-16, 2017, University of Utrecht

Conference Venue: Belle van Zuylen room, Academy Building, Domplein 29, Utrecht

(organizers: Debin Ma, Richard von Glahn and Bas van Leeuwen)

Conference Agenda (Presentation: 20 minutes, Discussion 15 minutes)


Friday 15 December

8:30   arrival with coffee and tea


1, Economic Transition in 19th Century: William Rowe, Johns Hopkins University

Discussant: Peer Vries

2, Ideology, Institution and Economic Trends in China in 1800-1950: an Overview: Debin Ma, London School of Economics

10:40-11:15 coffee/tea


3.Handicraft and Modern Industries: Linda Grove, Sophie University, Japan (emeritus), Toru Kubo, Shinshu University, Japan

Discussants: Bas van Leeuwen, Harriet Zurndorfer

4.Governmental Enterprise: Lai Chi-gong, University of Queensland, Australia, and Morris Bian, Auburn University, USA.

Discussants: Linda Grove, Toru Kubo

12:25-13:25 lunch


5, Public Finance: Elisabeth Kaske, Leipzig University and Lin Mayli, Academia Sinica, Taiwan.

6, Financial Institutions and financial markets: Bret Sheehan, USC, Yingui Zhu, Fudan University, China

14:35-15:00 coffee/tea


7,Infrastructure: Elisabeth Koll, Notre Dame University.

Discussants: Hilde de Weerdt, Ma Ye (Groningen).

8,Education and Human Capital: Bas van Leeuwen, University of Utrecht, Holland and Gao Pei, LSE, Meimei Wang, Remin University of China.

Discussants: Hilde de Weerdt, Elisabeth Kaske.

17:30-20:00 dinner: Darah, Oudegracht aan de Werf 161, 3511 AL Utrecht


Saturday 16 December


9, Chinese Economy since the Mao era: Xu Chenggang, HK Univ.

10, A long-run perspective on Chinese economy: Loren Brandt, University of Toronto, Debin Ma, LSE and Tom Rawski, University of Pittsburg.

10:10-10:35 coffee/tea


Discussion on the following draft chapters:

11,Business Organization: Madeleine Zelin, Columbia Univ.

Discussant: Keetie Sluyterman (Utrecht).

12,Impact of the West: James Kung, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Discussant: Pei Gao.

13,China’s external economic relations during the Mao era: Amy King, Australian National University.

Discussant: Linda Grove.

14,Living Standards  in the Mao Era: Chris Bramall, SOAS and China under the Command Economy in 1950-1977: Dwight Perkins, Harvard University (Emeritus).

Discussant: Chenggang Xu 

General Discussion over the other following chapters:

15, Chinese Agriculture: TBA.

16,Money and Macro-economy: Hongzhong Yan, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, China, Dan Li, Fudan University

17,Foreign Trade and Investment: Carol Shiue, University of Colorado.

18,The Economics of the Great Leap Famine: James Kung, HK U. of Science and Technology

Plenary Discussion

12:15-13:15 lunch

The end