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Evolution of living standards and human capital in China in 18-20th century: evidences from real wage and anthropometrics

Baten, Joerg, Ma, Debin, Morgan, Stephen and Wang, Qing (2009) Evolution of living standards and human capital in China in 18-20th century: evidences from real wage and anthropometrics. Economic History Working Papers, 122/09. Department of Economic History, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

This article mobilizes and integrates both existing and new time series data on real wages, physical heights and age-heaping to examine the long-term trend of living standards and human capital for China during the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. Our findings confirm the existence of a substantial gap in living standards between China and North-western Europe in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. They also reveal a sustained decline in living standards and human capital at least in South China from the mid-nineteenth century followed by a recovery in the early twentieth century. However, comparative examination of age-heaping data shows that the level of Chinese human capital was relatively high by world standard during this period. We make a preliminary exploration of the historical implication of our findings.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Official URL: http://www2.lse.ac.uk/economicHistory/workingPaper...
Additional Information: © 2009 The authors
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
D History General and Old World > DS Asia
Sets: Departments > Economic History
Collections > Economists Online
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: 122/09
Date Deposited: 11 May 2010 15:01
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27870/

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