[数量经济学研讨会]The Causes of China`s Great Famine, 1959-1961: County-Level Evidence


报告题目:The Causes of China`s Great Famine, 1959-1961: County-Level Evidence (joint with Hiroyuki Kasahara)

内容简介:This paper provides evidence that over-export of grains aggravated the severity of China`s Great Famine. We collect the county-level information on the death rate, the birth rate, the procurement amount of grains, the output of different types of grains, crop productivity, weather condition, and distance to railroad in 1953-1965. We exploit the county-level variation in the types of crops each county specialized in to construct Bartik style measures for export shocks and regress the death rates on the Bartik measures. The regression result suggests that the effect of grain exports on the excess deaths is substantial, estimated at 14 percent of excess deaths in 1960. We also estimate the determination of procurement policy as well as the causal relationship between the death rates and the consumption per capita at the county-level during the famine period, and conduct counterfactual experiments to quantify the relative importance of different causes of the Great Famine. The counterfactual experiments indicate that that the effect of grain exports explains 12 percent of excess deaths, which amounts to 1/5 of the effect of increase in procurement rate between 1957 and 1959. In addition, 59 and 45 percent of excess deaths were attributed to the surge in procurement rate and the fall of agricultural production, respectively.


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