Selected Publications

Journal Articles:

"Modern Silk Road: Global Raw Silk Market: 1850-1930" Vol.56, No.2 (June, 1996) pp. 330-355. The Journal of Economic History.

“Why Japan, not China, Was the First to Develop in East Asia, Lessons from Sericulture 1850-1937”  January 2004, volume 52, No. 2, Economic Development and Cultural Change.                  

Growth, Institutions and Knowledge: A Review and Reflection on the Historiography of 18th-20th Century China” Vol. 44, Issue 3, Nov. 2004, Australian Economic History Review, (Special Issue on the Economic History of Asia)

“Between Cottage and Factory: the Evolution of Chinese and Japanese Silk-Reeling Industries in the Latter Half of 19th Century,”    Journal of The Asia Pacific Economy, vol. 10, No. 2, 195-213, May 2005.

“Wages and Living Standards of Japanese Unskilled Laborers in 1720-1913: an International Comparison” (co-authored with Jean-Pascal Bassino) chapter 7 in Research in Economic History, Vol. 23. 2005.

“International Comparison in Historical Perspective: Reconstructing the 1934-6 Purchasing Power Parity of Japan, Taiwan and Korea.” (co-authored with Kyoji Fukao and Tangjuin Yuan) Volume 43, Issue 2 April 2006, Explorations in Economic History.

“Law and Commerce in Traditional China, an Institutional Perspective on the ‘Great Divergence’” Keizai-Shirin, vol. 73, No. 4, March 2006.

“Real GDP in pre-War East Asia: a 1934-36 Benchmark Purchasing Power Parity Comparison with the U.S." (co-authored with Kyoji Fukao and Tangjun Yuan) Review of Income and Wealth,  Vol. 53 Issue 3, September 2007.

“Economic Growth in the Lower Yangzi Region of China in 1911-1937: A Quantitative and Historical  Perspective” The Journal of Economic History, Vol. 68, No. 2 (June 2008) pp. 385-392.

"Evolution of Living Standards and Human Capital in China in 18-20th Century" (co-authored with Joerg Baten, Stephen Morgan and Qing Wang) Explorations in Economic History, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp. 347-359 (July 2010).

“Wages, Prices, and Living Standards in China, 1738-1925: in Comparison with Europe, Japan and India”  (co-authored with Robert Allen, Jean-Pascal Bassino, Christine Moll-Murata and Jan Luiten van Zanden) Economic History Review Vol. 64, No. S1 2011, pp.8-38.

"From Divergence to Convergence: Re-evaluating the History Behind China's Economic Boom" (2013) co-authored with Loren Brandt and Thomas G. Rawski. Journal of Economic Literature 2014, 52(1), 45123.

State capacity and great divergence, the case of Qing China (16441911), Eurasian Geography and Economics, 2014, 54:5-6, 484-499


Edited Book:

Law and Long-Term Economic Change: an Eurasian Perspective (co-edited with Jan Luiten van Zanden): Stanford University Press 2011.

See the CEPR working paper version No. 8385 (2011) of an earlier version of my chapter 3 in this book titled "Law and Economy in Traditional China, a Legal Origin Perspective on Great Divergence"  available online at

Also see the short piece on my chapter "Legal Origin, a Chinese Perspective" at VOX. 


Book Chapters:

"The Great Silk Exchange: How the World was Connected and Developed" in Pacific Centuries: Pacific and Pacific Rim History Since the 16th Century, edited by D. Flynn, L. Frost and A.J.H. Latham, Routledge Press, 1998. Reprinted as Chapter 1 in Ma, D. (ed.) Volume 12: Textiles in the Pacific, 1500-1900, series The Pacific World: 'Lands, Peoples and History of the Pacific, 1500-1900', Ashgate Variorum, Aldershot, 2005.


Book Reviews:

Avner Greif Institutions and the path to the modern economy: lessons from medieval trade. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Journal of Global History, Volume 5, Issue 01, March 2010, pp 178-180.

Jean-Laurent Rosenthal and R. Bin Wong, Before and Beyond Divergence: The Politics of Economic Change in China and Europe. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2011. Reviewed for EH.Net. archived at