Transformations in China

Angus Maddison, UNU-MERIT

In world perspective China’s performance has been exceptional. In 1300, it was the world’s leading economy in terms of per capita income. It outperformed Europe in levels of technology, the intensity with which it used its natural resources, and capacity for administering a huge territorial empire. By 1500, western Europe had overtaken China in per capita real income, technological and scientific capacity. From the 1840s to the middle of the twentieth century, China’s performance actually declined in a world where economic progress elsewhere was very substantial. In the past 60 years, China has been resurrected in a catch-up process which seems likely to continue in the next quarter century. By 2030 Chinese per capita income will be well above the world average. In terms of GDP, it will very probably have overtaken the USA as the world’s biggest economy around 2015...

About the speaker
Angus Maddison was born in 1926 in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England, attended the University of Cambridge as an undergraduate. After graduate studies at McGill University and Johns Hopkins University, he returned to the United Kingdom to teach for a year at the University of St. Andrews. In 1953, he joined the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (OEEC), and afterwards became Head of the OEEC Economics Division. In 1963, when the OEEC became the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Maddison became Assistant Director of the Economic Development Division. Soon thereafter, he left the OECD, and spent the next 15 years in a series of consulting appointments during which he returned to the OECD for four years. In 1978, he joined Groningen University and remained there until his retirement. He is the author of many works of historical economic analysis, including The World Economy: Historical Statistics and several other reference books on the same topic. Angus Maddison received a royal decoration as Commander in the Netherlands Order of Orange Nassau as he turned 80,[1] and in October 2007 Maddison received an honorary doctorate at Hitotsubashi University, Japan.

Venue: Conference Room, 4th floor, Keizer Karelplein 19

Date: 19 June 2008

Time: 16:00 - 17:00