This book extends current research on the political economy of modern China, with particular regard to agricultural development and its role in economic transition. It uses Neoclassical principles to re-interpret agricultural growth and technological change under complex market institutions with empirical studies on China and selected East Asian economies. The text also questions how technological advances in China contribute to the Great Divergence debate.
Through a comparative analysis of agricultural technical changes in the planting of rice paddies in Japan, Taiwan and China, Du finds that different market institutions and structures have given rise to considerable diversity of agricultural change between different economies in terms of the nature, timing and duration of technological transition. Such diversification has, in turn, affected the trajectories of agricultural and wider economic growth.
Here, Du reflects on the nature of contemporary Chinese economic development and extends observations on agricultural transition to the entirety of Asia, finding that the nature, timing, and time-span of agriculture technology transitions have varied considerably across different economies.
Jun Du is a visiting research fellow of the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore. She holds a PhD from University of London, UK, specialising in institutional and agricultural economics with an application to China and other East Asian countries. Her research interests include induced innovation in agriculture and Chinese agricultural economic history.