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Debin Ma

Ideology and Institutions: Understanding Economic Changes in 19-20th Century China

Social Sciences Conference Tuesday, November 5, 2019, 19:00 hours Madrid

General information:

Venue: Fundación Ramón Areces - salón de actos. Calle Vitruvio, 5. 28006. Madrid.

Free admission. Necessary previous online registration. Limited capacity. 

Organized by:

Fundación Ramón Areces

In cooperation with:

Instituto Figuerola de Historia y Ciencias Sociales. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

  • Description
  • Programme

China's spectacular annual double-digital economic growth during the past four decades have reshaped our inquiry into both the historical roots and future prospects of Chinese economy. The age-old question of “why China failed to modernize?” is now turned into “why Chinese success came so late”​. This talk will tackle this question from a historical perspective since China's forced opening to Western imperialism during the mid-19th century. The talk will review China's imperial regime which was built on a monopoly of power with a centralized top-down political structure. Economic and institutional changes were constrained under the system. The opening of China has led to the erosion of Imperial China's monopoly of power and ideology and created room for institutional experiments and diffusion. Based on new empirical data and institutional framework, this talk will trace the role of European treaty ports and other external organizations in effecting economic, political and social changes through a bottom up process.


Tuesday, November 5

18:30 h.

Attendee check-in

19:00 h.


Raimundo Pérez-Hernández y Torra 
Director de la Fundación Ramón Areces.


Ideology and Institutions: Understanding Economic Changes in 19-20th CenturyChina

Debin Ma 
Professor of Economics, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan. 

Debin Ma currently serves as Professor of Economics at the Institute of Economic Research of Hitotsubashi University in Japan, Associate Professor in Department of Economic History of LSE (currently on leave) and Visiting Professor of Economics at Fudan University in Shanghai, China. He obtained his Phd in Economics from University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and has taught and researched extensively in US, Europe and Asia. His main research interest is in long-term economic growth in China and Asia, comparative institutional analysis, measurement of long-term living standards and welfare. He is the author of numerous articles that appeared in Journal of Economic Literature, Journal of Economic History, Journal of Comparative Economics and etc. He is the co-editor of numerous economic history books and special issues in prestigious outlets. He is currently the co-editor of the two volume Cambridge Economic History of China (in progress). A member of the CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research), Debin Ma appeared regularly in BBC documentary series and other public engagement activities. 

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