Lecturer Sun Chengjiu: The Celestial Empire: Solar Eclipses, Political Legitimacy, and Economic Performance in Historical China
(Picture source: Pixabay)
(Correspondent Wang Tianjian) Recently, Sun Chengjiu, lecturer of economic history of Nankai Institute of Economics, has published a collaborative paper in Cliometrica, a core journal in the field of economic history and cliometrics, as the first author. The paper is titled “The Celestial Empire: Solar Eclipses, Political Legitimacy, and Economic Performance in Historical China”.
This paper exploits a unique historical experiment to study how changes in political legitimacy affect economic performance. In historical China, solar eclipses were interpreted as Heaven's wrath incurred by wrongdoings of the ruling class, signaling a decline in the incumbent's legitimacy. Using an original dataset covering over 2000 years, the paper documents that when total solar eclipses occurred, climate shocks had a greater negative impact on economic performance. The key mechanism appears to be that total eclipses significantly intensified the effect of climate shocks on civil conflict.
Cliometrica is a widely recognized international core journal and SSCI journal in the field of economic history. It mainly publishes research papers related to cliometrics, with an average publication of 13.2 papers per year. The co-author of the paper is Dr. Li Hongfei from PipeChina Institute of Science and Technology.