EH217      Half Unit
Chinese Economic History since 1800: A Chronology

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Melanie Meng Xue SAR 6.12


This course is available as an outside option to students on non-Economic History programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.


A background in statistical methods is preferred but not required.

Course content

The first half of the course follows a chronological order, covering major phases of historical China, including traditional China, the Great Divergence, late Qing and Republican China, Communist era, and post-1979 economic reform.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures totalling a minimum of 20 hours in Michaelmas Term.

This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

Students are expected to produce 1 essay during the teaching term.

Indicative reading

  • Deng, Kent, Mapping China’s Growth and Development in the Long Run, 221 BC to 2020 (London: World Scientific Press and Imperial College Press);
  • Richard von Glahn, The Economic History of China: From Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century Cambridge University Press, 2016;
  • Kenneth Pomeranz, The Great Divergence, China, Europe and the making of the modern world economy Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton UP, 2000;
  • Wong, Roy Bin. China transformed: historical change and the limits of European experience. Cornell University Press, 1997


Exam (85%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (15%, 1500 words) in the MT.

Coursework of one take home essays of 1,500 words (inclusive of bibliography and footnotes) to be completed independently by each individual student. The essay should develop arguments, analysis and evidences on a specific research question (or a set of research questions) chosen by the student in consultation with teachers and should be related to the course materials covered. While it is essential to demonstrate one’s grasp of the course material, students are encouraged to develop their own insights and arguments going beyond the course material.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

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