NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by yaguang Zhang

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June 2010Monetary Theory from a Chinese Historical Perspective
with Zheng Xueyi, John Whalley: w16092
We discuss monetary thought in ancient China from the perspective of Western monetary theory. It sets out the structure of economic activity in the various dynasties of ancient China and emphasizes the differences in monetary structure from Europe (and later North America). Imperial China was a politically integrated structure with regional segmentation of economic activities and hence with regional money. Monetary policy was one body conducted at regional level, but overseen naturally politically before national integration under the Ming dynasty (14th century). In various regions different forms of money circulated, with gold, silver, copper, and paper all present at various times. Monetary policy was guided by monetary thought, such as later in Europe. Basic concepts such as monetary fu...

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