Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2382346
 


 



Unified China and Divided Europe


Chiu Yu Ko


National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics

Mark Koyama


George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Tuan-Hwee Sng


National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics

December 5, 2014


Abstract:     
This paper studies the causes and consequences of political centralization and fragmentation in China and Europe. We argue that the severe and unidirectional threat of external invasion fostered political centralization in China while Europe faced a wider variety of smaller external threats and remained politically fragmented. We test our hypothesis using data on the frequency of nomadic attacks and the number of regimes in China. Our model allows us to explore the economic consequences of political centralization and fragmentation. Political centralization in China led to lower taxation and hence faster population growth during peacetime than in Europe. But it also meant that China was relatively fragile in the event of an external invasion. Our results are consistent with historical evidence of warfare, capital city location, tax levels, and population growth in both China and Europe.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 59

Keywords: China, Europe, Great Divergence, Political Fragmentation, Political Centralization

JEL Classification: N33, N35, N43, N45, H56

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Date posted: January 23, 2014 ; Last revised: December 6, 2014

Suggested Citation

Ko, Chiu Yu and Koyama, Mark and Sng, Tuan-Hwee, Unified China and Divided Europe (December 5, 2014). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2382346 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2382346

Contact Information

Chiu Yu Ko
National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics ( email )
1 Arts Link, AS2 #06-02
Singapore 117570, Singapore 119077
Singapore
HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/kochiuyu/
Mark Koyama (Contact Author)
George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
HOME PAGE: http://mason.gmu.edu/~mkoyama2/About.html
George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )
3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
Tuan-Hwee Sng
National University of Singapore (NUS) - Department of Economics ( email )
1 Arts Link, AS2 #06-02
Singapore, 117570
Singapore
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