Please join the Lillian Goldman Law Library and the Asian Pacific American Law Students Association for a Book Talk with Taisu Zhang ’08 on his latest book, The Laws and Economics of Confucianism: Kinship and Property in Preindustrial China and England. Commentary provided by James Whitman ’88.
The event will take place on Tuesday, November 28, 2017, 6:10 – 7:00pm, SLB 122
Tying together cultural history, legal history, and institutional economics, The Laws and Economics of Confucianism: Kinship and Property in Pre-Industrial China and England offers a novel argument as to why Chinese and English pre-industrial economic development went down different paths. The dominance of Neo-Confucian social hierarchies in Late Imperial and Republican China, under which advanced age and generational seniority were the primary determinants of sociopolitical status, allowed many poor but senior individuals to possess status and political authority highly disproportionate to their wealth. In comparison, landed wealth was a fairly strict prerequisite for high status and authority in the far more ‘individualist’ society of early modern England, essentially excluding low-income individuals from secular positions of prestige and leadership. Zhang argues that this social difference had major consequences for property institutions and agricultural production.
Taisu Zhang ’08 is an Associate Professor of Law at the Yale Law School.
James Whitman ’88 is the Ford Foundation Professor of Comparative and Foreign Law at the Yale Law School.