Melanie Meng Xue
UCLA Anderson School of Management

Meng Xue


(Friday, 20th May 2016)

Title : Institutions, Diversity, and Cultural persistence: Evidence from Imperial China

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How do historical factors shape contemporary political institutions and economic growth? The workshop will present findings from three different pieces of research.

First, it will be shown how autocratic political institutions, namely the practice of persecuting intellectuals for dissent - known as literary inquisitions - permanently weakened local institutions in 18th and 19th century China.

Second, evidences will be provided that a shock to population diversity following the Taiping Rebellion changed the conditions for the emergence of modern institutions in early 20th century China.

Finally, it will be demonstrated how a productivity shock can permanently shape cultural attitudes towards women by focusing on the long-term impact of new cotton textile technologies used between 1300 AD and 1840 AD on gender outcomes today.