Institutional Change and Rural Industrialization in China

Institutional Change and Rural Industrialization in China

The Putting-Out System in Handicraft Industry in Late Qing and Early Republic Period

Feizhou Zhou


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This book explores the development of the putting-out system in hand-woven textile industries in late Qing Dynasty and China's Republican Period. In classic sociology theory, the putting-out system in handcraft production was regarded as traditional and inefficient. In the context of Republican China, it was believed that this kind of household-based production system would have totally failed in competition with the factory system of machinery production. However, this book exhibits the historical fact that the putting-out system was booming in handcraft textile production and subsequently provides an explanation to this phenomenon from the perspectives of institutional analysis and quantitative modeling. With rich county-level data and comprehensive analysis, this book is valuable for both researchers, academics and students in economics and social history studies.

  • Introduction: Smithian Growth or Involution Growth?
  • Literature Review on the Handicraft Industry and Institutional Change
  • Proto-industrialization in the Industrial Era: A Historical Study about the Cotton Textile Industry in North China
  • 'Involution' and 'Industrialization': Investigation of the Cotton Textile Industry in the South of the Yangtze River
  • Quantitative Analysis on Institutional Change and Rural Industrialization
  • The Putting-out System and the Prosperity of Rural Homespun Industry
  • Conclusion: Commercialization, Institutional Change and Rural Industrialization

Readership: Undergraduates, graduates, academics and researchers who are interested in commercialization, institutional change and rural industrialization in China.
Key Features:
  • Provides quantitative modeling analysis of Chinese economic history
  • Contains rich county-level data on Republican China
  • Provides historical analysis of new institutionalism