World Bank HR Vice President Xavier Coll Keeps Notes
Robert Solow on Schumpeter and McCraw

Peace and Order Reign on the River

One of the greatest surviving artworks from 900 years ago. At wikipedia:

Wikipedia: Qīngmíng Shànghé Tú: [G]enerally attributed to the Song Dynasty artist, Zhang Zeduan (1085-1145) [Chang Tse-tuan]. The painting captures the daily life of people from the Song period at the capital, Bianjing (near today's Kaifeng)... painted in handscroll format and the content reveals the lifestyle of all levels of the society (from rich to poor) as well as different economic activities in rural areas and the city. It offers glimpse of the clothing and architecture during the period. As an artistic creation, the piece has been revered, and court artists of subsequent dynasties have made several reproductions.

Yingyi Qian, eight doors north along the west side of the 6th floor of Evans, showed this to the Group of 30 Consultative Group on International Economic and Monetary Affairs when he flew to Hangzhou for the weekend to address them. Hangzhou is lovely this time of year--850 years ago it was the biggest city in the world, with a population of perhaps a million, exhibiting what was then the world's most advanced techologies (silk manufacture, high-quality dyes, triple-cropped rice, printing, gunpowder, the compass, advanced cast and wrought iron), perched next to the geoengineering project that is West Lake. But they gave him only ten minutes.

He talked about how 900 years ago China was the most technologically-advanced and politically-well-organized region in the world, producing as much iron then as Britain did in 1750, having as large a share of production traded and marketed as Britain did in 1750, and producing ten times as much food and timber as Britain did in 1750. He talked about how Chinese living standards at the end of the Cultural Revolution were no higher, we guess, than in 1107. He talked how between the Mongol invasions of the early thirteenth century and 1975 China developed little technology, and was very slow to adopt technologies from outside.

And he talked about East Asian industrialization: How Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Thailand, China, and Vietnam look very much as though they are walking the same road, the principal difference being that each started at a different moment: Korea in 1960, China in 1978.