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Values of China


Time: 10:00 am - 11:30 am, May 10th, 2024

Speaker: Melanie Meng Xue

(London School of Economics and Political Science)

Venue: 359s, Overseas Exchange Center, Peking University

Platform: Zoom

Meeting ID: 994 5991 6531

Passcode: inse



This research establishes a comprehensive database of Chinese cultural values using cross-sectional data from oral traditions and panel data from historical gazetteers. These sources illuminate how historical events have imprinted on cultural traits, demonstrating their relevance to contemporary values. The importance of examining cultural values over time is highlighted through a case study on social capital, emphasizing its adaptation to transformative events like civil conflicts and the adoption of Christianity. This study not only maps China's cultural traits across space and over time but also contributes to the literature by suggesting a methodological approach to exploring the enduring impact of historical events on modern societal norms and behaviors.





Professor Melanie Meng Xue is an Assistant Professor of Economic History at LSE and a Research Affiliate at CEPR. Her research interests include political economy, gender, culture and narrative, and early modern and modern China. Her work examines the rise of women, the self-perpetuation of authoritarian regimes, and the role of affirmative action in human capital accumulation. By tracing the impact of historical events over time and in various institutional settings, her work centers on the role of values, beliefs, and norms in shaping economic and political disparities. In her research of traditional narratives, she discovered that folklore is a vital source of values in contemporary society. This line of inquiry has produced a global dataset of values and beliefs across countries and ethnicities, with ongoing work in the broad area.