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Beyond Malthus and Ricardo: Economic Growth, Land Concentration, and Income Distribution in Early Twentieth-Century Rural China

Loren Brandt () and Barbara Sands

The Journal of Economic History, 1990, vol. 50, issue 4, 807-827

Abstract: The article reexamines the connection between rural landownership and income distribution in light of recent evidence suggesting economic growth in China in the early twentieth century. The study utilizes a government-organized national survey of landholding and income-earning in 1930s’ China and three household-level village surveys conducted by Japanese researchers in the 1930s. Our investigations produce evidence contrary to the currently held view of substantial (and increasing) income inequality. We suggest an alternative scenario of economic opportunities.

Date: 1990
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