China Maritime Customs and China's Trade Statistics, 1859–1948

cover, China Maritime Customs and China's Trade Statistics, 1859-1948

ISBN 0-9729147-5-7
[ISBN-13: 978-0-9729147-5-8]

Paperback, 8.5-by-11, 181 pages, with 32 illustrations and 27 tables. Index and bibliography. Includes CD, with 75 additional pages of text and 65 spreadsheets. August 2003.
Published at $34.95

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For almost a century, foreigners ran China’s Customs service, building the Maritime Customs into China’s first modern civil service.

China Maritime Customs left a massive trove of statistical returns, business studies, and annual reports. These documents, published in English and available to the general public, provide a comprehensive record of China’s shipping and trade. And they open a window into the workings of China’s economy and government during the late imperial and Republican periods.

This book guides the reader through Customs documents, explaining what sorts of information are available in them, where to get them, and how to use them effectively. It shows readers how to interpret trade statistics produced by the Customs service and demonstrates, in particular, how to gather and use statistics that pertain to specific regions and commodities.

The three parts of this book collect and organize a wealth of essential information.

Maps, graphs, tables, and sidebars supplement the main text. Additional text on the CD show how the spreadsheets were constructed and provides item-by-item explanations of the data they contain.

Software requirements

From reviews

“Any historian with a serious interest in China's modern economic history will be grateful for Thomas Lyons's study of the trade statistics produced by the Chinese Maritime Customs Service. Those wishing to use the Customs' statistics will find it indispensable.... This book should be included on all reading lists for introductory courses to research on Chinese history.” China Quarterly

“All scholars will be grateful to Lyons for making available such a thorough guide to the Customs statistics.... In the future, scholars using these statistics will, at the minimum, be more aware of the institutional origins of the figures and the pitfalls involved in their use.” EH.Net

“The meticulous care and procedural transparency that Lyons has maintained for constructing the data and statistics is exemplary for future quantitative studies of Chinese economic history.” Journal of Economic History

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