NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Guo Fan

Institute of Economics
Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
No.2 Yuetan North Small Street
Xicheng District, China

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Chinese Academy of Social Sciences

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2015Economic Cycles in Ancient China
with Yaguang Zhang, John Whalley: w21672
We discuss business cycles in ancient China. Data on Ancient China business cycles are sparse and incomplete and so our discussion is qualitative rather than quantitative. Essentially, ancient debates focused on two types of cycles: long run political or dynastic cycles of many decades, and short run nature induced cycles. Discussion of the latter show strong parallels to Jevons’ conception of sun spot cycles. The former has no clear contemporary analogue, were often deep in impact and of long duration. The discussion of both focused on agricultural economies. Ancient discussion on intervention focused on counter cyclical measures, including stockpiling, and predated Keynes and the discussion in the 1930s by centuries. Also, a strongly held belief emerged that cycles create their own cycle...
 
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