Quantitative History Webinar Series 
海上絲路歷史中不同文明的表現
Zhiwu Chen, Chair Professor of Finance, Victor and William Fung Professor in Economics, HKU

Thursday,
June 11, 2020
04:00 p.m.

在將近兩千年的發展歷程中,海上絲綢之路經歷了多次變遷:先由南海和東南亞商人主導;公元7世紀末阿拉伯穆斯林商人加入海上絲路,並很快成為主角;到16世紀上半葉,海上絲路改由天主教葡萄牙人當道,更後再變為新教徒荷蘭人、英國人稱雄。為什麼海上絲路歷程中多次易主?為什麼穆斯林商人能後來居上並主宰海上絲路長達七百餘年,但最後卻被人口相對少的葡萄牙取而代之?荷蘭人和英國人的優勢又在哪裡?海上絲路歷史既是中華文明、印度文明、伊斯蘭文明和基督教文明的接觸史,也是它們相互磨合、彼此競爭的歷史。
 

 

亞洲環球研究所所長陳志武教授將於今期的量化歷史網上講座中,借助現代經濟學,解讀各文明在資源整合和風險分攤能力上的不同特質與表現,尤其每種文明是如何解決逆向選擇、「搭便車」現象和道德風險問題,以鞏固其商幫信用網絡的可靠度、降低跨期交易成本。陳志武教授會於講座中為大家一一解構不同文明體系的優劣成敗:哪個文明體系能更好解決跨期信用與風險分攤問題,那個文明就能在海上貿易中制勝。海上絲路歷史所折射的不同文明之特質,不僅加深我們對今天世界格局背後來歷的認知,也有利於我們比較及研究制勝技巧,為把握未來作更好準備。

Quantitative History Webinar Series 
The Origin of the State: Land Productivity or Appropriability?
Luigi Pascali, Associate Professor of Economics, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Thursday,
May 28, 2020
04:00 p.m.

The conventional theory about the origin of the state is that the adoption of farming led to an increase in productivity, which led to food surplus. Food surplus is held to be a prerequisite for the emergence of hierarchical societies and eventually states. Luigi and his co-authors challenge this theory and propose that hierarchy arose due to the shift to dependence on appropriable cereal grains. Their empirical investigation, utilizing multiple data sets spanning several millennia, demonstrates a causal effect of the cultivation of cereals on hierarchy, without finding a similar effect for land productivity. In this Webinar, Luigi will present several case studies that further support their claims.

Quantitative History Webinar Series量化歷史講座系列
宋至清的防疫與治疫:政府與民間組織的角色
Aangela Leung, Chair Professor, The University of Hong Kong

Thursday,
May 21, 2020
04:00 p.m.

2020年初全球注目中國如何平治冠狀病毒大疫, 焦點集中於中央政府史無前例的動員範圍與控管方式。這個治疫理念的歷史根源在那裡? 在整個治疫過程中, 社會組織角色是否被外界忽視? 這個講座從歷史角度審視宋以來中央政府與民間組織在預防與治理各種病疫時的分工與背後的管治邏輯, 及其轉變, 從中反思今天的管治方式。

 

研討會將以普通話進行 演講後將進入問答環節 請在Zoom的 Q&A框中輸入問題,然後按「發送」,或將問題電郵至 econhist@hku.hk

Quantitative History Webinar Series量化歷史講座系列
數據、信息與渠道 — 傳統中國政府能夠掌握數字信息嗎?
William Liu, Professor, Lingnan University

Thursday,
May 7, 2020
04:00 p.m.

傳統中國很早就有較為發達的官僚體系,中央與地方層層統轄而有司分工各擔其責,這樣一個嚴密組織的政府體系能夠收集、掌握和處理數字化信息嗎?皇帝是否知曉其統治下的國土有多少民眾、耕地、財富和士兵?史料裡面留下的數字資料浩如瀚海,其真實程度如何?本次演講就是比較宋朝和明朝對宏觀經濟數據的匯報管理體制及由此產生的數據特色及質量,並進一步說明在國家汲取和處置公共財政資源上面宋朝和明朝有重大差異,體現了不同的立國原則。

Quantitative History Webinar Series
The Influence of Ancestral Lifeways on Individual Economic Outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa
Stylianos Michalopoulos, Associate Professor of Economics, Brown University

Thursday,
April 30, 2020
09:00 a.m.

Does a person's historical lineage influence his or her current economic status? Motivated by a large literature in the social sciences stressing the effect of an early transition to agriculture on current economic performance at the country level, Stylianos Michalopoulos and his team examine the relative contemporary status of individuals as a function of how much their ancestors relied on agriculture during the preindustrial era. They focus on Africa, where—by combining anthropological records of groups with individual-level survey data—they can explore the effect of the historical lifeways of one's forefathers. Within enumeration areas (typically a single village or group of villages in the countryside and a city block in urban areas) as well as occupational groups, they find that individuals from ethnicities that derived a larger share of subsistence from agriculture in the precolonial era are today more educated and wealthy. A tentative exploration of channels suggests that differences in attitudes and beliefs as well as differential treatment by others, including differential political power, may contribute to these divergent outcomes.

Quantitative History Webinar Series
Ideological Entrepreneurs, Multiplex Network Diffusion, and the Spread of Radical Innovations: Martin Luther’s Role in the Early Reformation
Jared Rubin, Professor of Economics, Chapman University

Thursday,
April 23, 2020
10:00 a.m.

Jared Rubin, together with his team, analyzes Martin Luther’s role in spreading the early Reformation, one of the most important episodes of radical institutional change in the last millennium. They argue that social relations played a key role in its diffusion because the spread of heterodox ideologies and their eventual institutionalization relied not only on private “infection” through exposure to innovation, but also active conversion to and the promotion of that new faith through personal ties. They conceive of that process as leader-to-follower directional influence originating with Luther and flowing to local elites through personal ties. Based on novel data on Luther’s correspondence, Luther’s visits, and student enrollments in Luther’s city of Wittenberg, his research team reconstructs Luther’s influence network to test whether local connections to him increased the odds of adopting Protestantism. Using regression analyses and simulations based on empirical network data, his team finds that the combination of personal/relational diffusion via Luther’s multiplex ties and spatial/structural diffusion via trade routes fostered adoption of the Reformation by cities, making possible Protestantism’s early breakthrough from a regional movement to a general rebellion against the Roman Catholic Church.

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