Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=560383
 
 

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High Corruption Income in Ming and Qing China


Van H. Pham


Baylor University - Department of Economics

Shawn X. Ni


University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics

February 2005


Abstract:     
We develop an economic model that explains historical data on government corruption in Ming and Qing China. In our model, officials' extensive powers result in corrupt income matching land's share in output. We estimate corrupt income to be between 14 to 22 times official income resulting in about 22\% of agricultural output accruing to 0.4\% of the population. The results suggest that eliminating corruption through salary reform was possible in early Ming but impossible by mid-Qing rule. Land reform may also be ineffective because officials could extract the same rents regardless of ownership. High officials' incomes and the resulting inequality may have also created distortions and barriers to change that could have contributed to China's stagnation over the five centuries 1400-1900s.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: Corruption, China

JEL Classification: O10, O53

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Date posted: February 17, 2005  

Suggested Citation

Pham, Van H. and Ni, Shawn X., High Corruption Income in Ming and Qing China (February 2005). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=560383 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.560383

Contact Information

Van H. Pham (Contact Author)
Baylor University - Department of Economics ( email )
One Bear Place #98003
Waco, TX 76798
United States
(254) 710-3521 (Phone)
(254) 710-6142 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.baylor.edu/van_pham
Shawn X. Ni
University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics ( email )
118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States
573-882-6878 (Phone)
573-882-2697 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.missouri.edu/~econni/
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