At the turn of the first millennium A.D. the Chinese empire was perhaps the most technologically and economically advanced civilization on the planet. Economic historians continue to wonder why China stopped progressing along a path which seemed to promise an industrial revolution similar to that experienced by the West. This paper examines how the social and political institutions which made pre-industrial China different from Europe may have prevented such a revolution from happening. The imperial bureaucracy, Confucian philosophy and the centralized nature of the empire all played a role in preventing China from escaping the pre-modern world until the 20th century.
Major Themes in Economics
©2001 by Major Themes in Economics
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"China: Unfulfilled Promise,"
Major Themes in Economics, 3, 35-52.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uni.edu/mtie/vol3/iss1/5