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New book launch|《The History of Land Institution in Traditional China》 (Five Volumes)

The History of Land Institution in Traditional China (Five Volumes)

Volume I: Long Denggao, Chen Yueyuan and Ding Chunyan, Institutions of Land Property Rights and Grassroots Orders

Volume II: Zhao Liang, A Sound Tenancy System for Fertile Fields

Volume III: Ding Mengmeng, The Institutional Evolution of the Land Property Rights Market: 1650-1950

Volume IV: He Guoqing, Tang Yunjian and Wei Xing, A New Study on Tenant Rights

Volume V: Ma Fang and Wang Ming, eds., Essays on the History of Land Institutions in China

The book titled “The History of Land Institution in Traditional China (Five Volumes)”, a project funded by the National Publication Foundation, was recently published by China Social Sciences Press. The book pools the research results of the team led by Prof. Long Denggao with Tsinghua University in more than a decade. In five volumes at about 1 million words, it reviews the development course of land institutions in China and systematically presents the logic and characteristics of China’s land institutions. The author has been focusing on the research on the institution and market of land property rights in China over the past 10+ years, and has produced some original results based on the collection, excavation and collation of raw data including folk transaction deeds, legal instruments, social surveys during the period of the Republic of China and land reform statistics. Relevant papers have been published in authoritative journals such as Social Sciences in China, Historical Research, Economic Research Journal, Management World and Ethno-National Studies, with good academic influence; and relevant research results have won the Sun Yefang Economic Science Award (2018) and the first prize of the Outstanding Achievement Award in Philosophy and Social Sciences in Beijing (2021). All these have laid a solid academic foundation for this book.


The book consists of five volumes, of which the first four volumes expound on the economic efficiency of tenancy systems, institutional evolution of the land property rights market, land pricing mechanisms and diversification of land property rights structures respectively. These volumes reveal the structural characteristics and economic and social functions of the institutions of land property rights in traditional China from different perspectives, elaborate systematically on the internal logic of the development and evolution of China’s land institutions and on this basis further extend the historical significance of land institutions by exploring the institutions of property rights and grassroots orders in traditional China. The fifth volume is a selection of classic academic works and the team’s frontier achievements. These volumes are of high academic value as they can be read either separately or in combination within a holistic framework. Established in the rich historical heritage in traditional China, this book systematically sums up the characteristics of traditional land institutions. Using analytical tools of modern economics, it can clearly explain the operating logic and economic efficiency of traditional land institutions, thus effectively eliminating previous misunderstandings, laying a solid foundation for the understanding of social and economic systems in traditional China and providing unique insights for current land reforms.

The book will be launched soon by China Social Sciences Press.