International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

Fractured-Land and Political Fragmentation

21:00 | Thursday, July 9, 2020

Zoom Webinar

English

Mark Koyama

Mark Koyama

Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University

By Tom-b - Own work, under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)

Patterns of political unification and fragmentation have crucial implications for comparative economic development. Diamond (1997) famously argued that “fractured-land” was responsible for China’s tendency towards political unification and Europe’s protracted political fragmentation. Mark Koyama and his co-authors build a model with granular geographical information to quantitatively gauge the effects of “fractured-land” on state formation in Eurasia. They find that a broad version of the “fractured-land” hypothesis that takes into account both topographical features and the location of productive agricultural land is necessary and sufficient, within their model, to account for China’s recurring political unification and Europe’s persistent political fragmentation. In particular, the existence of a core region of high land productivity in Northern China plays a central role in their simulations. In this Quantitative History Webinar, Mark Koyama discusses how their results map into observed historical outcomes and how robust their findings are.

Mark's co-authors are Jesús Fernández-Villaverde (University of Pennsylvania), Youhong Lin (Center for Cliometrics Studies of China, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies), and Tuan-Hwee Sng (NUS Department of Economics).

This Webinar is a joint event with Economic History of Developing Regions Virtual Seminar
hosted by the journal "Economic History of Developing Regions" of the Economic History Society of Southern Africa.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Zoom Webinar

Mark Koyama

English

The Quantitative History Webinar Series aims to provide researchers, teachers, and students with an online intellectual platform to keep up to date with the latest research in the field, promoting the dissemination of research findings and interdisciplinary use of quantitative methods in historical research. The Series, now in its third year, is co-organized by the International Society for Quantitative History, HKU Business School, and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 量化歷史網上講座系列由香港大學陳志武和馬馳騁教授聯合發起,旨在介紹前沿量化歷史研究成果、促進同仁交流,推廣量化方法在歷史研究中的應用。本系列講座由國際量化歷史學會、香港大學經管學院和香港人文社會研究所全力支持和承辦。

Conveners: Professor Zhiwu Chen & Dr. Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School)

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