Agricultural Development in Qing China

A Quantitative Study, 1661-1911


Author: Zhihong Shi
In Agricultural Development in Qing China: A Quantitative Study, 1661-1911 SHI Zhihong offers for the first time an overview of agricultural development in Qing China in the English language. Being by far the largest sector in one of the largest economies in the world, understanding its development is crucial not only for agricultural studies, but also to advance economic debates such as on the Great Divergence.
Combining the recent quantitative paradigm with the more traditional scholarly approach, this book uses a great number of primary sources to arrive at new and revised estimates of crucial indicators such as land acreage, crop yield, pasture, and total output. Its main conclusion is that a serious economic and social problem occurred since the mid-Qing, where agriculture was increasingly less able to feed a growing population, which was a major factor contributing to the growing crisis in the rule of the dynasty.

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SHI Zhihong, gained his PhD from the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in 1988. As the author of several monographs and many articles on China's agricultural and financial history, he is currently a Senior Researcher and Professor Emeritus of the Institute of Economics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


List of Figures and Tables
Emperors of the Qing Dynasty
Chinese Terms
Weights and Measures Used during the Qing Dynasty
Maps of China

0 Introduction
 0.1 Origins of this Book
 0.2 Historical Data Used
 0.3 Research Approach
 0.4 Previous Studies

1 Cultivated Land Area
 1.1 Why Official Qing Records are Not Accurate
 1.2 Actual Area of Land Cultivated during the Qing Dynasty

2 Grain Production: Per Unit Yield and Total Output
 2.1 Average Yield of Grain Crops
 2.2 Total Output of Grain

3 Grain Output Value
 3.1 Grain Price Data Used in this Study
 3.2 Value of Grain Output in Various Periods of the Qing Dynasty
 3.3 Production Cost and Value Added from Grain Production

4 Non-Grain Output Values and Total Agricultural Value
 4.1 Cash-Crop Output Value
 4.2 Output Value of Non-Crop-Based Agricultural Production and Gross Added Values of Overall Agriculture in the Qing Dynasty

5 Development and Underdevelopment of Agriculture in the Qing Dynasty
 5.1 The Zenith of Traditional Agriculture in China
 5.2 Limitations of Agricultural Development in the Qing Dynasty

Appendix A: Population
Appendix B: Cultivated Area
Appendix C: Yield Per Unit Area
Appendix D: Agrarian Structure, Rural Actors and Their Interaction in the System of Agricultural Production During the Qing Dynasty: Land Ownership, Peasants, Landlords and the State

All interested in the history of the Qing dynasty of China, and anyone interested in agricultural developments.