Agricultural Instability in China, 1931-1990: Weather, Technology, and Institutions

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Clarendon Press, May 18, 1995 - Business & Economics - 412 pages
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China is particularly dependent upon her agricultural surplus for financing her ambitious industrialization programme, but the performance of the agricultural sector of the economy has been extremely unstable throughout the twentieth century. Professor Kueh provides a scholarly and authoritative account of this vital part of the Chinese economy during the period 1931-1990, based upon detailed statistical data and other sources of material. Professor Kueh has achieved a unique analysis of the interrelationships between natural, economic, and institutional factors, which lie at the heart of China's agricultural performance. He describes policy changes, technological advances, and natural factors such as climactic conditions, and distinguishes the effect of each factor in the varying level of agricultural production. The strength of this book lies not only in its collection and analysis of data but in the innovative methodological process used, including the construction of a `weather index', which will be invaluable not only for Chinese studies scholars but also for those wishing to undertake similar work for other countries.
 

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Contents

List of Figures
xiii
List of Maps
xvii
List of Tables
xviii
List of Abbreviations
xxii
Introduction
1
An Interpretative Framework
9
Measures of and Factors in Agricultural Instability An Overview
11
A Global Perspective
13
A Note on Food Security and Peasant Behaviour
133
Some General Observations
135
Weather Policy and ShortRun Instability
139
Socialist Setting with 19701984 and without 19521966 Technological Change
145
Isolating Yield Losses in Major Weather Disturbances
151
Some General Observations
162
Precipitation and GrainYield Variations
167
Precipitation and Yield Relationships in 19311935
169

The Institutional Setting and Peasant Behaviour
16
Agricultural Technology and Investment
23
The Spatial Factor
29
A History of Chinese Agricultural Instability since 1931
37
Methods and Problems of Measurement
39
Standards used for Measurement
40
The Instability Index
43
National and Regional Analysis
44
National Trends and Patterns of Instability 19311984
47
19521958 to 19701977
50
19701977 to 19781984
55
19311937 to 19781984
59
19521958 to 19781984
61
Regional Variations
67
Intraregional Differences
75
Some General Observations
88
Notable Episodes of Great Instability
91
Instability
92
The Provincial Scene
96
The 19591961 Episode
100
A LongTerm View 19311984
105
Major Factors in Chinese Agricultural Instability since 1931
109
Methods and Problems of Measurement
111
The Technological Variables
114
Policy and Institutional Factors
117
The LongRim Interplay of Weather Technology and Institutions
121
Weather versus Technological Progress
122
Institutional and Technological Transformation
124
The Effect of Periodic Policy Variations
127
A CrossProvincial Perspective
170
The YeartoYear Variations
178
Precipitation Evidence of Yield Losses in 19591961
185
PrecipitationYield Relationship A Methodological Note
190
Comparing Actual and Predicted Losses
194
An Excursion Identifying the NonWeather Factors in the Great Debacle of the Early 1960s
207
The Great Leap Forward Strategy Revisited
208
The Combined Impact of Confiscatory Farm Procurement and SownArea Contraction
215
Policy Miscalculation even if the Weather had been Good?
223
Reckoning the Opportunity Costs through the mid1960s
225
Some Reflections
227
Economic and Policy Implications
233
The 19851991 Perspective
235
Trends and Sources of LongRun Instability
236
The Weather versus Policy Factors in the PostCollectivization Years
240
A Microeconomic Viewpoint
244
1985 and the Great Deluge of 1991 Compared
249
Some General Observations
252
Conclusion
256
Appendices
265
Weather Patterns and Climatic Disturbances in China 19211984 Introduction
267
Basic Ecological Weather Yield Relationships
268
Problems of Aggregate Weather Measurements
272
The Record of the State Meteorological Bureau
273
Shouzai Area as a Weather Proxy
286
Appendix B Statistical Tables and Sources
307
Index
375
Copyright

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