Topic:The Rise of Confucianism: The Path of Development in Historical China
Speaker:BAI Ying. The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Time:Tuesday, December 5th, 13:30-15:30p.m
Place:Room K01, Guanghua Hotel
Neo-Confucianism is a philosophy or a religion predominated in the intellectual and spiritual life of East Asia prior to the modern period. This paper argues that the historical formation of Neo-Confucian culture in China was caused by the Jurchen’s defeat of Han Chinese (culminated in the demise of the Northern Song dynasty, circa 960-1127)—a shock that resulted in 5 million people migrating from north to south China. In a Difference-in-Differences setting of a panel of 292 prefectures during 220 BC – 1820 AD, we show that the ratio of southward migrants settled in each prefecture during 1127-30 led to the rise of Neo-Confucianism measured by the ratio the so-called “chaste women”—women who for the sake of demonstrating fidelity to their deceased husbands wowed not to remarry or even committed suicide. The possible channel is that the competition for survival between the two groups make them value more on the loyalty to the family, and began to demand such type of philosophy. Moreover, we show that since Neo-Confucianism was adopted as oxthodoxy and the baisis of civil exam, the formal institution enforced the cultural formation during Ming and Qing dynasty. This effect is persistent and related with today’s level of trust.
Professor BAI Ying. Assistant Professor, Department of Economics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.