Professor Kent Deng

Professor Kent Deng

Professor of Economic History

Department of Economic History

+44 (0)20 7955 6163
Room No
SAR 5.17
Office Hours
Friday 13:30-15:00. No booking required
English, Mandarin
Key Expertise
Economic History, pre-modern and early modern China

About me

Research interests

Professor Deng research interests and writing includes the rise of the literati in the economic life of pre-modern China; the maritime economic history of pre-modern China; the economic role of the Chinese peasantry.

Other key topics in his work are the developmental deadlock of the Chinese premodern economy; long-term demography of premodern China; early modern railway development in China; Chinese fiscal state and its impact on the economy


EH327 China's Traditional Economy and its Growth in the Very Long-Term

EH446  Economic Development of East and Southeast Asia

EH486 Shipping and Sea Power in Asian Waters, c 1600-1860 (n/a 2016/17)

Recent Publications 

1. Monographs                                           

With Dr. Yazhuo ZHENG, State Failure and Distorted Urbanisation in Post-Mao's China, 1993–2012. Pp. 182, London: Palgrave Macmillan Press.

2. Articles in peer-reviewed journals

Kent Deng, Jim Shen and Sarah Tang, ‘Re-evaluating the ‘Smile Curve’ in Relation to Outsourcing Industrialization’, Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, 57/5 (2021), pp. 1247-1270 (Formally accepted on 20 November 2019, available vide: [1540496X]

Kent Deng and Shengmin Su, ‘China’s Extraordinary Population Expansion and Its Determinants during the Qing Period, 1644-1911’, Population Review 58/1 (2019), pp. 20-78.

邓钢, ‘西方经济史研究的十大流派’,《政治经济学报》(Chinese Journal of the Political Economy) 3/10 (2017), pp. 101-118.

Kent Deng and Luca Zan, ‘Micro Foundations in the Great Divergence Debate: Opening up the Perspective’, Accounting History, 22/4 (2017), pp. 530–53. 

Kent Deng and Jun DU, ‘To Get the Prices Right for Food: The State versus the Market in Reforming China, 1979–2006’, European Review of Economic History 21/3 (2017), pp. 302–25 (formally accepted on 31/03/2017; online: 10.1093/ereh/hex005). 

Kent Deng and Patrick O’Brien, ‘Why Maddison Was Wrong’, World Economics Journal, 18/2 (2017), pp. 21–41.

Kent Deng and Anne Booth, ‘Japanese Colonialism in Comparative Perspective’, The Journal of World History, 28/1 (2017), pp. 61–98.

3. Book chapters

With Anne Booth, ‘Fiscal Development in Taiwan, Korea and Manchuria: Was Japanese Colonialism Different?’, in Fiscal Capacity and Colonial State in Asia and Africa, c. 1850-1960, ch. 5 (pp. 137-160).  Editors: Ewout Frankema and Anne Booth, Cambridge University Press

‘Economic History of Ming-Qing and Modern China’, in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance, 2019,Editor: Andrew Marzoni, Oxford University Press. Available at doi:

‘One-Off Capitalism in Song China, 960-1279 AD’, in Capitalisms: Towards A Global History, Editors: Kaveh Yazdani and Dilip Menon, Oxford University Press

With Patrick O’Brien, ‘The Tyranny of Numbers: Are There Acceptable Data for Nominal and Real Wages for Pre-modern China?’, in Seven Centuries of Unreal Wages, ch. 3 (pp. 71–94),  Editors: John Hatcher and Judy Z. Stephenson, Palgrave MacMillan Press

‘The Evolution of China’s Political Economy of the Sea, 960-1900’, in Cambridge History of the Pacific Ocean, Editors: Ryan T. Jones and Matt K. Matsuda, Cambridge University Press

For an additional list of publications view Professor Deng's CV [PDF]


Expertise Details

China; peasantry; literati; maritime economic history; merchants; pre-modern and early modern China; state; western influence