EH409      Half Unit
Chinese Economic History: Culture, Institutions and Economic Growth

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Melanie Meng Xue SAR 612


This course is available on the MSc in Economic History, MSc in Economic History (Research), MSc in Financial History, MSc in Global Economic History (Erasmus Mundus), MSc in International and Asian History and MSc in Political Economy of Late Development. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

Course content: The course provides a broad but selective survey of the deep determinants of economic development and economic growth in China. The course is based on cutting edge research --- both articles and book chapters --- on a number of topics, including (1) Geography, (2) Institutions, (3) States, (4) Culture, (5) Social Capital, (6) Gender Norms, (7) Human capital & Social Mobility, (8) Trade & Market Exchange, (9) Environment & Disasters. There will also be a crash course in statistics and econometrics.


20 hours of seminars in the LT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6, in line with departmental policy.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 2 essays in the LT.

Indicative reading

  • 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;
  • Roy Bin Wong, China transformed: historical change and the limits of European experience (Cornell University Press), 1997.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Economic History

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Controlled access 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills