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Vortrag Francois Gipoloux, CNRS Paris: The paradox of Wealthy Merchants and Weak Capital Accumulation in Late Imperial China

24. January 2023, 18:15 - 19:45

Tuesday, January 24, 18:15 – 19:45
KWZ 0.607

This presentation proposes another interpretation of the Europe/China divergence, based on a redefinition of capitalism in much broader terms than its mere reduction to the industrial revolution. It recalls the reasons why Chinese merchant networks did not formalize autonomous institutions, in order to confer a perennial scope to their affairs. It revisits the paradox of Chinese economic history where the emergencee of rich merchants does not translate into steady capital accumulation. What credit institutions facilitated the collection of capital in China? How did it circulate? Where were capital markets developing credit instruments, allowing a wide exchange of information and the diffusion of financial innovations? This presentation raises the issue of late imperial China’s capital sterilization, due to the fragmentation of financial institutions and high interest rates.

François Gipouloux (Emeritus Research Director, National Centre for Scientific Research, [CNRS] France), is a specialist in Chinese economics with a professional experience in China, Hong Kong and Japan of almost 20 years. He teaches at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. He also directs the International Research Programme : « The Globalisation’s Origins and the Great Divergence : Trading Networks and the Trajectory of Economic Institutions—— Europe-Asia, 1500-2000 », financed by CNRS and prestigious European and Asian universities. His research covers the dynamics of urbanisation in China, and the historically comparative analysis of economic institutions and business practices in Europe and Asia.

Prof. Dr. Dominic Sachsenmaier, University of Göttingen

Department of East Asian Studies, University of Göttingen


24. January 2023
18:15 - 19:45


Prof. Dr. Dominic Sachsenmaier, University of Göttingen


Kulturwissenschaftliches Zentrum, KWZ 0.607

Heinrich-Düker-Weg 14
37073 Göttingen
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