Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 8
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Zhang, Long-jiang Tang, Ya and Liu, Ben-hong 2015. Changes in agricultural system as farmers adapt to economic-social and climatic changes in the min upriver rural areas in western Sichuan, southwestern China. Journal of Mountain Science, Vol. 12, Issue. 3, p. 747.


    Song, Shige 2014. Malnutrition, Sex Ratio, and Selection. Human Nature, Vol. 25, Issue. 4, p. 580.


    Zhao, Jianmei and Barry, Peter J. 2014. Income Diversification of Rural Households in China. Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Vol. 62, Issue. 3, p. 307.


    Song, Shige 2013. Prenatal malnutrition and subsequent foetal loss risk: Evidence from the 1959-1961 Chinese famine. Demographic Research, Vol. 29, p. 707.


    Clément, Matthieu 2012. Food availability, food entitlements, and radicalism during the Chinese great leap forward famine: an econometric panel data analysis. Cliometrica, Vol. 6, Issue. 1, p. 89.


    Li Jianhua, and Jing Yongping, 2011. 2011 International Conference on Business Management and Electronic Information. p. 575.

    Yang, Weiyong 2009. Economic structural changes and rural income: Evidence from Chinese provinces during the reform period. China Economic Review, Vol. 20, Issue. 4, p. 742.


    GRDA, CORMAC 2008. The ripple that drowns? Twentieth-century famines in China and India as economic history1. The Economic History Review, Vol. 61, p. 5.


    ×
  • The China Quarterly, Volume 188
  • December 2006, pp. 959-998

Squeezing the Peasants: Grain Extraction, Food Consumption and Rural Living Standards in Mao's China

Abstract

At the end of Mao's life farmers still accounted for some 80 per cent of China's population. Its declining share in GDP notwithstanding, agriculture continued to carry a heavy developmental burden throughout the Mao era. The production and distribution of grain – the wage good par excellence – held the key to fulfilling this role. But despite a pragmatic response to the exigencies of famine conditions in 1959–61, state investment priorities never adequately accommodated the economic, let alone the welfare needs of the farm sector. Thanks to the mechanism of grain re-sales to the countryside, the Chinese government's extractive policies were less brutal in their impact than those pursued by Stalin in the Soviet Union. Even so, a detailed national, regional and provincial analysis of grain output and procurement trends highlights the process of rural impoverishment which characterized China's social and economic development under Maoist planning.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
I am grateful to the participants of the China Quarterly Conference (October 2005), at which a very different version of this article was initially presented, for comments and advice on how I might go about making a very diffuse paper more focused. I also take special pleasure in thanking Professor Colin White (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia) – a dear friend of almost half a century – for his insightful and encouraging comments from afar on an interim version of this article.
Footnotes
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? *
×