Chapter

Farm Labour Productivity in Jiangnan, 1620–1850

Bozhong Li

in Living Standards in the Past

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280681
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602467 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199280681.003.0003
 Farm Labour Productivity in Jiangnan, 1620–1850

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Contrary to the conventional view, labour productivity on farms in Jiangnan, the Yangzi Delta in East China, did not deteriorate or stagnate but instead improved between 1620 and 1850. Changes in the factors of major production of farming and in the peasant economy both contributed to the improvement and this development resulted in a rising standard of living of peasants. Neither an old, misleading Malthusian conception nor conventional wisdom on the standard of living, therefore, squares with what we know of Jiangnan history.

Keywords: China; Jiangnan; labour productivity; peasant economy; standard of living

Chapter.  11645 words. 

Subjects: Economic History

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