Skip to main content Accessibility help

A Late Maoist Industrial Revolution? Economic Growth in Jiangsu Province (1966–1978)

  • Chris Bramall (a1)


According to the conventional wisdom, the promise of the Chinese revolution of 1949 went unfulfilled in the Maoist era. Instead of taking off, the economy grew slowly, and widespread rural poverty persisted. The economic turning point was instead the famous political climacteric of 1976–78. But this metric of aggregates is the wrong criterion by which to judge China's economic record because industrial revolutions have regional beginnings. They invariably take place against a backcloth of slow aggregate growth and stagnant material living standards. Accordingly, we should dwell neither on China's slow overall growth nor its widespread poverty before 1978 but look instead for evidence of an emerging regional growth pole. This article argues that Jiangsu was such a growth pole in the late Maoist era, and that its record bears comparison with that of Lancashire and Yorkshire during the early years of Britain's industrial revolution. This holds out the intriguing possibility that a Chinese economic take-off, diffusing out of the Yangtze Delta, would have occurred even without post-1978 policy changes.

根据传统的智慧, 1949 年中国革命的诺言在毛派时代没有实现。经济增长缓慢, 农村贫困现象普遍存在, 而不是起飞。经济转折点相反是著名的政治革命 1976–78 的。但是, 由于工业革命具有地区性的开端, 这一指标是判断中国经济记录的错误标准。工业革命总是在 背景缓慢的总体增长和停滞不前的物质生活水平的情况下进行。因此, 我们不应该对中国在 1978 年之前的缓慢的总体增长和普遍的贫困问题不谈, 而是要寻找一个新兴的区域增长极的证据。本文认为, 江苏是毛派时代晚期的一个增长极, , 它的记录与兰开夏和约克郡的历史比较在英国工业革命初期. 即使没有后 1978 年的政策改变,从长江三角洲出来,中国经济起飞将要发生.



Hide All
Allen, Robert C. 2009. The British Industrial Revolution in Global Perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Antras, Pol, and Voth, Hans-Joachim. 2003. “Factor prices and productivity growth during the British Industrial Revolution.” Explorations in Economic History 40, 5277.
Apostolides, Alexander. 2008. “English agricultural output and land productivity, 1250–1850.” Accessed 1 September 2017.
Ashton, T.S. 1997 [1948]. The Industrial Revolution 1760–1830. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Blecher, Marc. 2009. China Against the Tides (3rd Ed.). London: Bloomsbury.
BPP (British Parliamentary Papers). 1833. An act for taking an account of the population of Great Britain and of the increase or diminution thereof, 2 April.
Bramall, Chris. 1993. In Praise of Maoist Economic Planning. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Bramall, Chris. 2000. Sources of Chinese Economic Growth, 1978–1996. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bramall, Chris. 2007. The Industrialization of Rural China. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Bramall, Chris. Forthcoming. “Living Standards in Maoist China.” In Ma, Debin and von Glahn, Richard (eds.), The Cambridge Economic History of China (Vol. 2). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Broadberry, Stephen, Campbell, Bruce, Klein, Alexander, Overton, Mark and van Leeuwen, Bas. 2015. British Economic Growth 1270–1870. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Buck, John Lossing. 1937. Land Utilization in China: Atlas. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Crafts, Nicholas. 1985. British Economic Growth during the Industrial Revolution. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Crafts, Nicholas. 2014. “Industrialization: Why Britain Got There First,” University of Warwick Working Paper no. 214, Accessed 20 September 2016.
Dangdai Zhongguo de xiangzhen qiye weiyuanhui (Editorial Committee for Rural Industry in Contemporary China). 1991. Dangdai Zhongguo de xiangzhen qiye (Rural Industry in Contemporary China). Beijing: Dangdai Zhongguo chubanshe.
Dangdai Zhongguo de xiangzhen qiye weiyuanhui (Editorial Committee for Rural Industry in Contemporary China). 2009. Dangdai Zhongguo de xiangzhen qiye (Rural Industry in Contemporary China). Beijing: Dangdai Zhongguo chubanshe.
Davis, Ralph. 1979. The Industrial Revolution and British Overseas Trade. Leicester: Leicester University Press.
De Vries, Jan. 1994. “The Industrial Revolution and the industrious revolution.” Journal of Economic History 54(2), 249270.
Dikötter, Frank. 2016. The Cultural Revolution. London: Bloomsbury.
Fei, Xiaotong. 1983. Chinese Village Close-Up. Beijing: New World Press.
Gao, Mobo. 1999. Gao Village. London: Hurst and Company.
Gao, Mobo. 2008. The Battle for China's Past. London: Pluto Press.
Geary, Frank, and Stark, Tom. 2015. “Regional GDP in the UK, 1861–1911: new estimates.” Economic History Review 68 (1), 123144.
Guangdong tongjiju (Guangdong Statistical Bureau). 1989. Guangdong guomin jingji he shehui fazhan tongji ziliao 1949–1988: nongcun bufen (Statistical Materials on Guangdong's Economic and Social Development, 1949–88: Rural Volume). Guangzhou: Guangdong sheng tongjiju.
Han, Dongping. 2000. The Unknown Cultural Revolution. New York: Garland Publishing.
Zhirong, Han. 1992. Xin Zhongguo nongchanpin jiage sishinian (Agricultural Prices during the Forty Years of New China). Beijing: Shuili dianli chubanshe.
Hayami, Yujiro, and Yamada, Saburo. 1991. The Agricultural Development of Japan. Tokyo: University of Tokyo Press.
He, Kang (ed.). 2004. Zhongguo de xiangzhen qiye (Chinese Rural Industry). Beijing: Zhongguo nongye chubanshe.
Hinton, William. 1991. The Great Reversal. London: Earthscan.
Ho, Sam P.S. 1994. Rural China in Transition. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Huang, Philip C.C. 1990. The Peasant Family and Rural Development in the Yangzi Delta, 1350–1988. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Humphries, Jane, and Schneider, Benjamin. 2016. “Spinning the Industrial Revolution,” Accessed 2 September 2017.
Hunt, E. H. 1986. “Industrialization and regional inequality: wages in Britain, 1760–1914.” Journal of Economic History 46 (4), 935996.
HYTJ. Huaiyin tongjiju (Huaiyin Statistical Bureau). 1991. Huaiyin shi lishi guomin jingji tongji zhuyao zhiji (Main Economic Statistical Indicators for Huaiyin Municipality, 1949–1990). Huaiyin: Huaiyin tongjiju.
JGK (Jiangsu shixian gaikuang weiyuanhui – Editorial Committee for A Survey of Jiangsu's Cities and Counties). 1989. Jiangsu shixian gaikuang (A Survey of Jiangsu's Cities and Counties). Nanjing: Jiangsu jiaoyu chubanshe.
Jiangsu sheng nonglinting (Jiangsu Department of Agriculture and Forestry). 1992. Jiangsu nongye fazhan shilue (A Brief History of Jiangsu's Agricultural Development). Nanjing: Jiangsu kexue jishu chubanshe.
Jiangsu tongjiju (Jiangsu Statistical Bureau). 1977. 1976 Jiangsu sheng nongye tongji ziliao (1976 Agricultural Statistical Materials for Jiangsu). Nanjing: Jiangsu tongjiju.
Jiangsu tongjiju (Jiangsu Statistical Bureau). 1979. 1978 Jiangsu sheng nongye tongji ziliao (1978 Agricultural Statistical Materials for Jiangsu). Nanjing: Jiangsu tongjiju.
Jiangsu tongjiju (Jiangsu Statistical Bureau). 1989. Jiangsu sishinian 1949–1989 (Forty Years of Jiangsu). Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe.
Jiangsu tongjiju (Jiangsu Statistical Bureau). 1994. Benxiang xiandaihua de licheng 1949–1992 (Marching Along the Path to Modernization). Nanjing: Jiangsu sheng xinwen chubanshe.
Jiangsu tongjiju (Jiangsu Statistical Bureau). 2006. Jiangsu tongji nianjian 2006 (Jiangsu Statistical Yearbook 2006). Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe.
Jiangsu tongjiju (Jiangsu Statistical Bureau). 2009. Shuju jianzheng huihuang – Jiangsu 60 nian (The Data Shine Forth—60 Years of Jiangsu). Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe.
Kelly, Morgan, and O'Grada, Cormac. 2014. “Ready for revolution,” Warwick Working Paper no. 209, Accessed 2 May 2017.
Krugman, Paul. 1994. “The myth of Asia's miracle.” Foreign Affairs 73 (6), 6278.
Li, Minqi. 2009. The Rise of China and the Demise of the Capitalist World-Economy. New York: Monthly Review Press.
Liu, Suinian, and Wu, Qungan (eds.). 1986. China's Socialist Economy. Beijing: Beijing Review.
Ma, Debin. 2008. “Economic growth in the lower Yangzi region of China.” Journal of Economic History 68 (2), 355392.
MacFarquhar, Roderick, and Schoenhals, Michael. 2006. Mao's Last Revolution. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
Maddison, Angus. 2010. “World population, GDP and per capita GDP, 1–2003 AD,” Accessed 25 March 2016.
Marton, Andrew M. 2000. China's Spatial Economic Development. London: Routledge.
Mitchell, Brian. 1988. British Historical Statistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mo, Yuanren. 1987. Jiangsu xiangzhen gongye fazhan shi (A History of the Development of Township and Village Industry in Jiangsu). Nanjing: Nanjing gongxueyuan chubanshe.
NCJJ (Jiangsu nongcun jingji wushinian bianji weiyuanhui – Editorial Committee for Jiangsu's Rural Economy 1949–1999). 2000. Jiangsu nongcun jingji wushinian 1949–1999 (Jiangsu's Rural Economy 1949–1999). Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe.
NJZ (Nongmuyuye bu jihuasi – Planning Department of the Ministry of Agriculture). 1983. Nongye jingji ziliao 1949–1983 (Materials on the Agricultural Economy 1949–1983). Beijing: Nongye chubanshe.
Nonglinbu (Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry). 1972. Nonglin tongji ziliao 1971 (Agriculture and Forestry Materials 1971). Zhonghua renmin gongheguo nonglin bu.
Nongyebu (Ministry of Agriculture). 1959. Nongye jingji ziliao shouce (Handbook of Materials on the Agricultural Economy). Beijing: Nongye chubanshe.
Nongyebu (Ministry of Agriculture). 1960. Yijiuwuliu nian dao yijiuliuqi nian quanguo nongye fazhan gangyao (The 1956–1967 National Agricultural Development Plan). Beijing: Renmin chubanshe.
Nongyebu (Ministry of Agriculture). 1981. Quanguo nongcun renmin gongshe shouyi fenpei tongji ziliao (Data on Income Distribution in China's People's Communes, 1956–1980). Beijing: Nongye chubanshe.
NYFX (Jiangsu sheng geming weiyuanhui nonglinju – Agricultural Bureau of the Jiangsu Revolutionary Committee). 1979. Jiangsu sheng nongye tongji fenxian gaikuang 1949–1978 (Survey of County Agricultural Statistics for Jiangsu Province 1949–1978). Nanjing: Jiangsu sheng geming weiyuanhui nonglinju.
NYTJ (Jiangsu sheng geming weiyuanhui nongyeju – Agriculture and Forestry Bureau of the Jiangsu Revolutionary Committee). 1976. Jiangsu sheng nongye tongji ziliao 1949–1975 (Agricultural Statistical Materials on Jiangsu 1949–1975). Nanjing: Jiangsu sheng geming weiyuanhui nongyeju.
Oi, Jean C. 1989. State and Peasant in Contemporary China. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Perkins, Dwight H. 1981. Rural Small-Scale Industry in the People's Republic of China. Berkeley CA: University of California Press.
Riskin, Carl. 1978. “China's rural industries.” The China Quarterly 73, 7798.
Rodrik, Dani. 2016. “Premature deindustrialisation.” Journal of Economic Growth 21, 133.
Sachs, Jeffrey, and Woo, Wing-Thye. 1994. “Structural factors in the economic reforms of China, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.” Economic Policy 18, 101146.
Sigurdson, Jon. 1977. Rural Industrialization in China. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
SSB (State Statistical Bureau). 1985. Zhongguo gongye jingji tongji ziliao (Economic Statistical Materials on Chinese Industry). Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe.
SSB (State Statistical Bureau). 1990. Quanguo gesheng zizhiqu zhixiashi lishi tongji ziliao huibian (Collection of Historical Statistical Materials on China's Provinces, Autonomous Regions and Centrally-Administered Cities). Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe.
SSB (State Statistical Bureau). 2010. Xin Zhongguo liushinian tongji ziliao huibian (Compilation of Statistical Materials for Sixty Years of New China). Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe.
Taicang xianzhi (Taicang County Records). 1991. Nanjing: Jiangsu renmin chubanshe.
Thorbecke, Erik. 1979. “Agricultural development.” In Galenson, Walter (ed.), Economic Growth and Structural Change in Taiwan. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Timmins, Geoffrey. 1998. Made in Lancashire. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Turner, Michael. 1982. “Agricultural productivity in England in the eighteenth century.Economic History Review XXXV, 4, 489510.
Von Tunzelmann, Nick. 1978. Steam Power and British Industrialization in 1860. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Walder, Andrew. 2015. China under Mao. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press.
White, Lynn. 1998. Unstately Power (Vol. 1). Armonk NY: M.E. Sharpe.
Whiting, Susan H. 2001. Power and Wealth in Rural China. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Williamson, Jeffrey G. 1991. “Did English factor markets fail during the industrial revolution?” In Crafts, Nicholas, Dimsdale, Nicholas and Engerman, Stanley (eds.), Quantitative Economic History. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Wood, Ellen Meiksins. 1991. The Pristine Culture of Capitalism. London: Verso.
World Bank. 1992. China: Strategies for Reducing Poverty in the 1990s. Washington DC: World Bank.
World Bank. 2017. World Development Indicators, Accessed 10 July 2017.
Wu, Harry. 2014. China's Growth and Productivity Performance Debate Revisited, Accessed 27 February 2016).
WXG (Wuxi xian jingji weiyuanhui – Wuxi County Economic Committee) (ed.). 1990. Wuxi xian gongye zhi (Industrial Records for Wuxi County). Shanghai: Shanghai renmin chubanshe.
Young, Alwyn. 1992. “A tale of two cities.” In Blanchard, Olivier and Fischer, Stanley (eds.), NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Zhejiang tongjiju (Zhejiang Statistical Bureau). 2010. Zhejiang liushinian tongji ziliao huibian (Compilation of Statistics on Sixty Years of Zhejiang). Beijing: Zhongguo tongji chubanshe.
Zhou, Haile. 1994. Suxichang fazhan baogao (A Report on the Development of Suxichang). Beijing: Renmin ribao chubanshe.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The China Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0305-7410
  • EISSN: 1468-2648
  • URL: /core/journals/china-quarterly
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed