Economic Growth in Prewar China

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9780520063723: Economic Growth in Prewar China
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This book's analysis of economic growth in China from the late nineteenth century to the Pacific War challenges the common notion that the prewar decades were a time of stagnation or decline. Focusing on the modern sector—cotton textile factories, sail and steamship transport, and Western-style commercial banking—Rawski demonstrates that, in spite of extreme economic and political uncertainty, the period saw significant economic growth. He portrays the transformation of China's economy as a long-term process spanning both sides of the 1949 political divide—economic progress did not await the arrival of socialism. China's recent turn toward the capitalist road lends added significance to this study, which illustrates the dynamic potential of the market system in a Chinese cultural setting.

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"A landmark study that will stimulate a major rethinking of the character of Chinese society in the first half of the twentieth century. It challenges persuasively so much of the conventional wisdom concerning the nature of China's economy prior to 1949 that it will almost certainly become one of the most widely quoted studies of Chinese economic growth in the twentieth century."—Nicholas R. Lardy, University of Washington

"Rawski's book offers the first comprehensive synthesis of early twentieth-century Chinese history based on original research from an economist's point of view. It directly and aggressively challenges major propositions espoused by leading historians and provides alternatives to these standard interpretations."—Sherman Cochran, Cornell University

About the Author:

Thomas G. Rawski is Professor of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.

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Rawski, Thomas G.
Published by University of California Press (1989)
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Thomas G. Rawski
Published by University of California Press (1989)
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