Hao Dong publishes a new article in PNAS on social mobility trends in post-revolution China

Hao Dong, together with Yu Xie, Xiang Zhou, and Xi Song published a new article “Trends in social mobility in postrevolution China” in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Hao is a co-corresponding author on this article. Xi Song is an alumnae of the Lee-Campbell Group and has previously co-authored with Cameron Campbell and James Lee.

Here is the abstract:

In this paper, we study long-term trends in social mobility in the People’s Republic of China since its inception in 1949, with two operationalizations: 1) intergenerational occupational mobility and 2) intergenerational educational mobility. We draw on an accumulation of administrative and survey data and provide comparable estimates of these measures for birth cohorts born after 1945. To help interpret the results, we compare trends in China to those in the United States for the same birth cohorts. We find an increase in intergenerational occupational mobility in China due to its rapid industrialization in recent decades. Net of industrialization, however, intergenerational occupational mobility has been declining for recent cohorts. Intergenerational educational mobility in China shows a similar declining trend. In addition, mobility patterns have differed greatly by gender, with women in earlier cohorts and from a rural origin particularly disadvantaged. We attribute the general decline in social mobility to market forces that have taken hold since China’s economic reform that began in 1978. In contrast, social mobility by both measures has been relatively stable in the United States. However, while social mobility in China has trended downward, it is still higher than that in the United States, except for women’s educational mobility.

Full reference:

Xie, Yu, Hao Dong, Xiang Zhou, and Xi Song. 2022. “Trends in social mobility in postrevolution China.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119, no. 7, 

Newly published volume 3 of Big Data and the Study of Chinese History (大数据与中国历史研究) includes chapters by Lee-Campbell Group members

Volume 3 of Big Data and the Study of Chinese History 大数据与中国历史研究,第三辑, edited by Fu Haiyan 付海晏 of the Central China Normal University School of History and Culture 华中师范大学历史文化学院 and published by the Social Sciences Academic Press (China) 社会科学文献出版社, contains a number of chapters related to Lee-Campbell Group Projects, or by members of the Lee-Campbell Group.

Here is a link to the complete Chinese language text of the State views and Local Views paper at Weixin: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/wGfMhYIogXHlVGwosIp5_Q

Here is an announcement of the volume at the web page of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of Modern History web page. The book should be available for order online in the coming weeks.

Chapters by Lee-Campbell Group members include the following:

An introduction by Bijia Chen to the process of constructing the CGED-Q, its current status, and its future prospects:
“中国历史官员量化数据库——清代”的建设过程、现状与前景 (陈必佳)

A Chinese translation of a paper by Cameron Campbell and James Lee comparing the recording of families in genealogies and household registers in Qing Liaoning that originally appeared in History and Computing. It shows that there were biases in genealogies beyond what has been recognized in earlier literature:
从国家和地方的角度看人口记录和行为 (康文林 李中清 翻:谌畅)

Essays by James Lee, Yuxue Ren, and Liang Chen on big data and quantitative history:
大数据与中国社会经济史 (李中清)
在定量分析与传统史学研究方法之间 (任玉雪)
如何做好的量化历史研究 (梁晨)

Two papers by Lee-Campbell Group PhD students Yang Li and Xue Qin:

The volume also includes a paper by an MA Student in the Central China Normal University program in Historical Big Data, Cai Xiaoying, that uses the publicly released CGED-Q Jinshenlu 1900-1912 Public Release, and is based on a paper that she originally wrote for the Historical Big Data class that Cameron Campbell taught in Wuhan in 2019:
清末地域回避制度实施之再探 (蔡晓莹)

Hao Dong publishes a new article in the History of the Family on adopted children’s survival differentials and gender differences in Tokugawa Japan

Hao Dong and our long-time collaborator and friend Satomi Kurosu have just published a paper in the History of the Family titled “Gendered survival differentials of adopted children in northeast Japan, 1716–1870

Here is the abstract:

Adoption was an important strategy for early-modern Japanese families to function and continue. This study is the first to systematically examine whether survival chances differ between adopted and non-adopted children and how gender moderates the survival differentials in historical Japan. We take advantage of individual-level panel data drawn from local household registers in northeast villages and towns between 1716 and 1870 consisting of 71,677 annual observations of 10,587 children aged 1–14, of whom 384 were adopted. Our event-history analysis takes a rich set of household characteristics and local economic context into account. We also apply matching and within-family comparison approaches to account for the unequal sex and age distribution of records between adopted and non-adopted children and unobserved systematic differences between households. We find substantial survival differentials between adopted and non-adopted children, which further vary by sex. Compared with non-adopted children of the same gender, adopted boys enjoyed survival advantages, while adopted girls suffered from elevated mortality risks. Moreover, the gendered survival differentials of adopted children were particularly apparent among those aged 5–9 rather than at older ages. In line with the patriarchal norms, these findings imply potentially different familial expectations for boy and girl adoptions in shaping child survival differentials.

Congratulations Hao and Satomi!


Chen Liang, Bamboo Y. Ren, and James Z. Lee publish a new article in《近代史研究》on the Geographic Origins of University Students During the Republic of China

Chen Liang (梁晨), Bamboo Y. Ren (任韵竹), and James Z. Lee 李中清 published a new article in 《近代史研究》(Modern Chinese History Studies) on the geographic origins of university students during the Republic of China using the CUSD-ROC, CUSD-OS, and CPOD-UE databases.

Here is the abstract:


Full reference: Chen Liang 梁晨, Bamboo Y. Ren 任韵竹, and James Z. Lee 李中清. 2021. 民国大学生地理来源量化考析 (Quantitative Study of the Geographic Origins of University Students During the Republic of China)  《近代史研究》(Modern Chinese History Studies). 3 (May): 124-142


Cameron Campbell’s 2020 paper on exam degree holders at the end of the Qing mentioned in 2020年历史学研究发展报告

Cameron Campbell’s 2020 paper in 社会科学辑刊 on the careers of exam degree holders at the end of the Qing was mentioned in a year-end report on the development of the discipline of history in 2020 (2020年历史学研究发展报告) published at China Social Science News (中国社会科学网), which is the official media platform of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (中国社会科学院). It was one of six papers listed in the section on Modern Chinese History and National History (中国近代史, 国史研究) subsection on National Governance (聚焦国家治理).

Paper on CGED-Q visualization in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics by Bijia Chen, Cameron Campbell and others

Bijia Chen and Cameron Campbell were co-authors on a paper titled “Interactive Visual Exploration of Longitudinal Historical Career Mobility Data” that just appeared in IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics that introduces CareerLens, a visualization platform for exploring the careers of officials and their social networks in the China Government Employee Dataset-Qing. The lead author, Yifang Wang, is a PhD student of Professor Huamin Qu, a colleague in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at HKUST whose research focuses on visualization and graphics. Other co-authors include Professor Qu and members of his VisLab group.

Here is a link to the paper: https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/9382844

Wang Yifang’s website has a page about the paper that includes a downloadable PDF, for those of you who can’t access it from the IEEE website.

An example of the CareerLens interface

And the abstract…

Abstract: The increased availability of quantitative historical datasets has provided new research opportunities for multiple disciplines in social science. In this paper, we work closely with the constructors of a new dataset, CGED-Q (China Government Employee Database-Qing), that records the career trajectories of over 340,000 government officials in the Qing bureaucracy in China from 1760 to 1912. We use these data to study career mobility from a historical perspective and understand social mobility and inequality. However, existing statistical approaches are inadequate for analyzing career mobility in this historical dataset with its fine-grained attributes and long time span, since they are mostly hypothesis-driven and require substantial effort. We propose CareerLens, an interactive visual analytics system for assisting experts in exploring, understanding, and reasoning from historical career data. With CareerLens, experts examine mobility patterns in three levels-of-detail, namely, the macro-level providing a summary of overall mobility, the meso-level extracting latent group mobility patterns, and the micro-level revealing social relationships of individuals. We demonstrate the effectiveness and usability of CareerLens through two case studies and receive encouraging feedback from follow-up interviews with domain experts

Dong Hao publishes new article in Chinese Sociological Review on family background effects on labor market outcomes of first-generation college graduates in China

Dong Hao and his collaborator Fan Xiaoguang have just published a paper in Chinese Sociological Review titled “What enables the “meritocratic power” of a college degree? Changing labor market outcomes of first-generation college graduates in post-revolution China.”

Here is the abstract:

Taking advantage of changes in college admissions and the labor market in post-revolution China, this study sheds light on the institutional conditions under which a college degree may “equalize” the influence of family educational background on labor market outcomes. We examine differences in the first job’s occupational attainment and economic returns between first-generation, second-generation, and non-college graduates. We compare birth cohorts with distinctive experiences, some of whom entered college through political recommendation while others did so through objective examination, and some of whom attained their first job through state assignment while others did so through market matching. We find that a college degree only equalized occupational attainment in cohort 1980–1992, who experienced expanded test-based admissions and a developed labor market. Within-occupation economic returns were equalized in cohort 1966–1979, who experienced test-based admissions and yet an underdeveloped labor market, but appeared to be unequal again in cohort 1980–1992, echoing rising social inequality.

Congratulations Dong Hao and Fan Xiaoguang!


Bamboo Ren, Chen Liang, and James Lee publish new article in China Quarterly on “Meritocracy and the Making of the Chinese Academe, 1912-1952” using the CUSD-ROC, CUSD-OS, and CPOD-UE

This article takes advantage of three new big historical datasets to identify four salient features of the Chinese academe during the Republic of China. First, it was highly international in terms of training. Second, the proportion of female students was unexpectedly large. Third, there was a heavy emphasis on STEM subjects. Finally, the social and spatial origins of China’s university students and university faculty members changed from a national population of civil servant families to business and professional families largely from Jiangnan and the Pearl River Delta. The datasets are the China University Student Dataset – Republic of China, which includes almost half of all students to graduate from a Chinese university during the first half of the 20th century; the China University Student Dataset – Overseas, which includes the vast majority of all Chinese students to graduate from an North American, European or Japanese university during this same period; and the China Professional Occupation – University Employee Dataset, which includes almost all university faculty members in China, 1941–1950. The China University Student Datasets are described in detail here.

Here is a link to the paper at the China Quarterly page:



Beijing Science Press publishes Liang Chen’s new book on Republican-era Tsinghua University faculty and staff

Liang Chen’s new book A Study of the Living Standards and Social Structures of Faculty and Staff in Republic of China: Focusing on Tsinghua Campus was published in November 2020 by Beijing Science Press. Publication was supported by funding from the National Social Science Foundation.

The book systematically examines the numbers, work, family patterns, living standards, social status, and educational attainment of every category of Republican-era university employees through a case study of the Tsinghua campus.  According to the results, from the perspective of living standards there were multiple strata in campus society. The income disparity between faculty, staff, and other groups was large. This created a structure in which differences were stark. Stratification in the “Tsinghua campus” was ostensibly reasonable, in principle based on position or title and the level of education.  However, underpinning this structure were inequalities in access to education by wealth and geography origin associated with the general acceptance of the “Western learning” model of education and commensurate reduction in the role of education in social integration.

Here is the book page at Douban.

梁晨新著《民国大学教职员工生活水平与生活结构研究:以清华为中心》(A Study of the Living Standards and Social Structures of Faculty and Staff in Republic of China: Focusing on Tsinghua Campus)于2020年11月,在北京科学出版社出版。该书为“国家社科基金后期资助项目”,主要内容是对以“清华园”为代表的民国大学校园中各类从业群体的工作性质、人口数量、家庭规模、生活水平、社会地位以及教育获得的系统梳理和相关关系分析。分析发现“清华园”这样的校园社会中,以生活水平为标准,存在着多个阶层,教职员工各职业群体间的经济收


University of Michigan Press publishes Matt Noellert’s New Book on Communist Land Reform using the CRRD-LR


https://www.press.umich.edu/images/covers/full/9780472132119.jpgMatt Noellert’s first book, Power over Property: The Political Economy of Communist Land Reform in China, was published in September 2020 by the University of Michigan Press and is now available for ordering online in various formats.

Power over Property is based on Matt’s PhD dissertation and uses the CRRD-LR dataset to demonstrate the primacy of political entitlements in shaping social and economic outcomes in twentieth-century China.