Historically, the Lower Yangzi Delta (or Jiangnan), has played a key role in China’s economic development. Indeed, as the prime example of a traditional Chinese market economy, the region serves as the core case study when making comparisons between the Chinese and Western economies in the early modern period.
This book explores aspects of this vibrant market economy in late imperial China, and by presenting a reconstructed narrative of economic development in the early modern Jiangnan, provides new perspectives on established theories of Chinese economic development. Further, by examining economic values alongside social structures, this book produces a historically comprehensive account of the contemporary Chinese economy which engenders a deeper and broader understanding of China’s current economic success.
With a broad range of empirical case studies which incorporate a range of social science and cultural theories, this book will be of great interest to students and scholars of Chinese history, as well as Chinese economics and business.
Table of Contents
1. Economic Values and Social Space in Historical Lower Yangzi Delta Economy: An Introductory Essay Billy K. L. So Part I: Money, Productivity, and Price: A Matter of Economic Values 2. Cycles of Silver in Chinese Monetary History Richard von Glahn 3. Cotton Textile Production in Jiangnan during the Ming-Qing Era and the Matter of Market-driven Growth Harriet Zurndorfer 4. Agricultural Productivity in Early Modern Jiangnan Guanglin Liu 5. Copper, Silver, and Tea: The Question of Eighteenth-Century Inflation in the Lower Yangzi Delta Sui-wai Cheung 6. An Early Modern Economy in China: A Study of the GDP of Huating-Lou Area, 1823-29 Bozhong Li Part II: Urbanization, Institutions, and Networks: A Matter of Social Space 7. On the Emergence and Intensification of the Pattern of Rural-Urban Continuum in Late Imperial Jiangnan Society Shiba Yoshinobu 8. Institutions in Market Economies of Premodern Maritime China Billy K. L. So 9. The Rise of Huizhou Merchants: Kinship and Commerce in Ming China Joseph P. McDermott 10. Conditions and Risks of Water Transport in the Late Ming Songjiang Region as Seen in the Cases Collected in MaoYilu’s Yunjian yanlüe Ka-chai Tam 11. Brokers and ‘Guild’ Organizations (huiguan) in China’s Maritime Trade with Japan in High Qing Angela Schottenhammer
Billy K. L. So is Chair Professor of History at The Chinese University of Hong Kong.