线上腾讯会议号：793 794 865（密码：1122）
主讲人： 陈婷 （香港浸会大学助理教授）
In the 10th century of Song China (c. 960-1268 AD) on the heels of a commercial revolution, the merchants appealed for their children to be permitted to take the civil exam—the route to officialdom in imperial China. Using a uniquely constructed data set, we show that the variation in commercial tax in 1077 and in the average number of market towns across the 1,185 Song counties has a significantly positive effect on both the number of jinshi holders and the share of these achievers who came from a non-aristocratic background—the two variables we employ to proxy for meritocracy. To cope with the growing demand for exam preparations, the merchants established many academies and printed many books—two strong indicators of the rise of human capital investment behind the emergence of meritocracy. To trace the origin of the commercial revolution, we confirm that an institutional reform—the “Twice-a-year” Tax Reform around 780 AD—that forced upon the emperor of Tang by a sudden military rebellion significantly spurred the commercial development in the areas where the Tang’s central government maintained tax control. We then use the boundary of these effectively taxed areas as a spatial RD design to identify the effects of commercialization on meritocracy. Our empirical analysis sheds light on why commercial revolution emerged so much earlier in medieval China, as well as how it turned Chinese political structure from aristocratic to meritocratic based without developing a representative government like in western Europe.
陈婷，香港浸会大学经济系助理教授，商业分析和数字经济中心副主任，曾在普林斯顿大学Bendheim Centre for Finance从事博士后研究，2015年获得香港科技大学社会科学博士学位，2011年获得香港科技大学社会科学研究硕士学位，2008年获得中山大学社会学学士学位。她的主要研究领域包括发展经济学、政治经济学、房地产经济学与经济史。研究成果发表于Journal of Development Economics、Economic Journal、Journal of Econometrics、The Quarterly Journal of Economics、《经济研究》等期刊。