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Bramall, Chris (2019) 'A Late Maoist Industrial Revolution? Economic Growth in Jiangsu Province, 1966-1978.' The China Quarterly, 240. pp. 1039-1065.

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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 Yangzi delta, would have occurred even without post-1978 policy changes.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: agriculture; labour mobilization; collective farms; Maoism; take-off; growth; industrialization; China
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
ISSN: 03057410
Copyright Statement: © SOAS University of London 2019. This is the version of the article accepted for publication in China Quarterly published by Cambridge University Press:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2018 09:58

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