Military Federalism and Economic Stagnation:The Case of China

  • 研討會日期 : 2002-06-18
  • 時間 : 15:00
  • 主講人 : Ronald A. Edwards
  • 地點 : B棟110室
  • 演講者簡介 : Prof. Ronald Edwards為Ph.D. in Economics,University of Minnesota(1999)。 目前為本所博士後研究學者。 其主要研究領域為Chinese Economic History 及 Growth Theory。
  • 演講摘要 : This book addresses the question of why China’s economic growth during the Song Dynasty did not persist into the Ming-Qing period. Technological innovation is taken as the key element in the process of long run economic growth. Given this view, what is needed is a theory of why the technological innovation of the Song Dynasty did not persist into the Ming-Qing period. I argue that the main contributing factor was a change in government institutions that gave rise to a faction that limited the property rights in the industrial and commercial sectors, which in turn reduced the incentives to technological innovation. Part I of the book argues that states (e.g. Fujian or California) are political-military units that form unions in large countries (e.g. China or the United States). The group of state officials in control of the state military, the main enforcement mechanism in the state, is argued to be especially important. This group has considerable control in enforcing all policies within the state. This group can also play a major role in completely rejecting the central government’s policies, such as in a state rebellion or civil war. The incentives of this group is therefore of great importance in determining what policies are enforced with a state. States where a limited number of officials have considerable control over the military are called states with rights. States where this group is large in number are called states without rights. In the modern West, most countries design their central government so as to control the military of the central government – a bottom up design. One part of the design is the separation of powers, where the fiscal and military powers are assigned to different branches of government, in order to avoid the situation where one person has complete control of the military and can enforce policies that he chooses. The separation of powers in the central government ensures that the consent of a group of people is required in order to enforce policies and a system of checks and balances results. As the number of people who’s consent is required increases, the scope of the legitimate use of the military decreases. In China, this same technique of control was applied, but from top down. The central government designed the state governments to control the state militaries. Part II documents that states had rights during the Song and did not have rights during the Ming-Qing. I argue that during the Ming-Qing period, the consent of a large group of state officials, which was required to enforce policy, prevented the rejection of anti-industrial and anti-commercial policies.