Emeritus Professor Tim Wright
Professor of Chinese Studies
Current Research Projects
Tim Wright is currently Editor in Chief of the Chinese Studies module of the Oxford Bibliographies. This is a continuing project, in which the first 54 articles went online in April 2013. A similar or larger number will be added in 2014.
Tim Wright's research interests focus on the political economy and development of China, both before the 1949 revolution and in the contemporary period.
His major project is on economic fluctuations in Republican China, especially the impact of the 1930s world depression, and he has published articles on labour, on the regional economies of south-west and north-east China and on business-government relations in that context. He is currently working on issues of natural disasters and currency fluctuations in the economy of north-east China during the pre-war period.
A second current interest is in the political economy of economic reform in the contemporary Chinese coal industry. Most recently he has published several journal articles on the topic as well as a book on The Political Economy of Chinese Coal Industry: Black Gold and Blood Stained Coal with Routledge.
Other on-going research interests include Chinese business history (with an article on a major pre-war coal mining company) and Chinese historiography (on which he edited and introduced a book of Chinese articles on economic history).
List of Major Publications
The Political Economy of Chinese Coal Industry: Black Gold and Blood Stained Coal, (London: Routledge, 2011) For further information on sources click here.
Coal Mining in China’s Economy and Society, 1895-1937 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984)
Translated by Professor Ding Changqing of the Nankai Institute of Economics as 1895-1937 Zhongguo jingji he shehui zhong de meikuang ye (Beijing: Dongfang chuban she, 1991)
The Chinese Economy in the Early Twentieth Century: Recent Chinese Studies (Macmillan, 1992)
Sow-Theng Leong, Migration and Ethnicity in Chinese History: Hakkas, Pengmin and their Neighbors, edited by Tim Wright, with an introduction by G. William Skinner (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1997)
[with Beverley Hooper], China (Asia-Australia Briefing Papers, Vol 1, No 2, 1991) (Sydney: The Asia-Australia Institute, 1991). (A completely revised second edition of this work was published as Asia Australia Briefing Papers, Vol 2, No 7, 1993)
Articles and Book Chapters
‘Sino-Japanese Business in China: The Luda Company, 1921-1937’, Journal of Asian Studies 39.4 (August 1980): 711-727.
‘“Grasping Revolution and Promoting Production”: The Cultural Revolution in Chinese Coal Mines’, Papers on Far Eastern History 22 (September 1980): 51-92.
‘Entrepreneurs, Politicians and the Chinese Coal Industry, 1895-1937’, Modern Asian Studies 11.4 (October 1980): 579-602.
(Joint article with Professor Shannon Brown, then of the University of Maryland), ‘Technology, Economics and Politics in the Modernisation of China’s Coal Mining Industry: The First Phase, 1850-1895’, Explorations in Economic History 18.1 (January 1981): 60-83.
‘The Growth of the Modern Chinese Coal Industry, 1896-1936: An Analysis of Supply and Demand’, Modern China 7.3 (July 1981): 317-350.
‘“A Method of Evading Management” - Contract Labor in Chinese Coal Mines Before 1937’, Comparative Studies in Society and History 23.4 (October 1981): 656-678.
‘A Mining Enterprise in Early Republican Chinese Society: The Chung-hsing Coal Mining Company’, in Chung-hua min-kuo ch’u-ch’i li-shih yen-t’ao-hui lun-wen chi (Proceedings of the Conference on the Early History of the Republic of China, 1912-1927) (Taipei, 1984), pp. 531-563.
‘Nationalist Policies and the Regulation of Chinese Industry: Competition and Control in Coal Mining’, in David Pong and Edmund Fung eds, Ideal and Reality: Social and Political Change in Modern China, 1860-1944 (Lanham: University Press of America, 1985), pp. 127-152.
translated as ‘Nanjing shiqi de guomindang zhengfu he dui Zhongguo gongye de guanzhi: meikuang ye zhong de jingzheng he tongzhi’, pp. 60-84 in Ding Richu ed, Jindai Zhongguo, di yi ji (Modern China, No. 1) (Shanghai: Shanghai shehui kexue yuan chuban she, 1991).
‘Imperialism and the Chinese Economy: A Methodological Critique of the Debate’, Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars 18.1 (January-March 1986): 36-45.
‘Industrial Labour and Labour Relations in China During the 1930s World Depression: A Preliminary Study’, pp. 443-482 in Yung-san Lee and Ts’ui-jung Liu eds, China’s Market Economy in Transition (Taipei: Academia Sinica, 1990).
‘Shanghai Imperialists vs Rickshaw Racketeers: The Defeat of the 1934 Rickshaw Reforms’, Modern China 17.1 (January 1991): 76-111.
‘Electric Power Production in Pre-1937 China: A Research Note’, China Quarterly 126 (June 1991): 356-363.
‘Coping with the World Depression: The Nationalist Government’s Relations with Chinese Industry and Commerce, 1932-1936’, Modern Asian Studies, 25.4 (October 1991): 649-674 (an earlier version of this article was published in John Fitzgerald, ed, The Nationalists and Chinese Society, 1923-1937: A Symposium (Melbourne: History Dept, Melbourne University, 1989).
translated by Mr Ci Hongfei of the Nankai Institute of Economics as ‘Yingdui shijie jingji xiaotiao: Guomin zhengfu tong Zhongguo gongshangye de guanxi (1982-1936)’ in Ding Richu ed, Jindai Zhongguo, di yi ji (Modern China, no. 6) (Shanghai: Shanghai shehui kexue chuban she, 1996), p. 77-106.
‘Introduction: Chinese Economic History in a Period of Change’, pp. 1-28 in Tim Wright ed, The Chinese Economy in the Early Twentieth Century: Recent Chinese Studies (Macmillan, 1992)
translated by Professor Wang Yuru of the Nankai Institute of Economics as ‘80 niandai Zhongguo jindai jingji shixue yanjiu de zhuyao wenti’ in Nankai jingji yanjiu 1992.6 (December 1992): 62-69; another version published as ‘Biandong shiqi de jindai Zhongguo jingji shixue’ in Ding Richu ed, Jindai Zhongguo, di yi ji (Modern China, no. 3) (Shanghai: Shanghai shehui kexue chuban she, 1993), p. 193-223.
‘“The Spiritual Heritage of Chinese Capitalism” - Recent Trends in the Historiography of Chinese Enterprise Management’, pp. 205-238 in Jon Unger, ed, ‘Using the Past to Serve the Present’: Politics and Historiography in Contemporary China (M E Sharpe and Allen and Unwin, 1993); an earlier version of this paper appeared in Australian Journal of Chinese Affairs 19/20 (January and July 1988): 185-214.
‘Overcoming Risk: A Chinese Mining Company During the Nanjing Decade’, East Asian History 17/18 (June/December 1999): 131-168.
‘Distant Thunder: The Regional Economies of Southwest China and the Impact of the Great Depression’, Modern Asian Studies 34.3 (July 2000): 697-738.
‘Competition and Complementarity: Township and Village Mines and the State Sector in China’s Coal Industry’, China Information 14.1 (2000): 113-130.
‘The Political Economy of Prices in China’s Planned and Market Economies: Competition and Control in the Coal Industry’, Asian Studies Review 24.3 (September 2000): 349-376.
‘The Political Economy of Coal Mine Disasters in China: Your Rice Bowl or Your Life’, China Quarterly, 179 (September 2004) 27-44.
‘Aodaliya he Yingguo de Zhongguoxue bijiao’ (Chinese Studies in Australia and the UK: A Comparison) (translated by Professor Liu Ni), Guowai shehui kexue (Social Sciences Abroad) 2004.6 (November 2004): 64-68. This article was also abstracted in the most important journal of abstracts for China’s elite, Xinhua wenzhai 330 (20 March 2005): 140-142.
‘China and the 1930s World Depression’, pp. 370-392 in Zhang Donggang et al eds, Shijie jingji tizhi xia de minguo shiqi jingji (The Chinese Economy Within the Global Economic Framework), Beijing: Zhongguo caizheng jingji chubanshe, 2005
‘The Performance of China’s Industrial Enterprises: A Coal Industry Perspective’, China Information 20.2 (July 2006): 165-199.
‘The Manchurian Economy and the 1930s World Depression’, Modern Asian Studies, 41:5, (September 2007): 1073-1112.
[For a spreadsheet of statistical data on Manchurian GDP click here]
‘An Economic Cycle in Imperial China? Revisiting Robert Hartwell on Iron and Coal’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 50.4 (November 2007): 398-423.
‘State Capacity in Contemporary China: “Closing the Pits and Reducing Coal Production”’, Journal of Contemporary China, 16 (51) (2007): 173-194.
‘An Economic Cycle in Imperial China? Revisiting Robert Hartwell on Iron and Coal’, Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 50 (4) (2007): 398-423
‘Rents and Rent Seeking in China’s Coal Industry’, pp. 98–116 in Tak-wing Ngo and Yongping Wu (eds), Rent Seeking in China, London: Routledge: 2008
(With Professor Ma Junya of Nanjing University), ‘Industrialization and Handicraft Cloth: The Jiangsu Peasant Economy in the late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries’, Modern Asian Studies, 44.6 (October 2010): 1337–1372.
“Economy, 1895–1949”. In Oxford Bibliographies: Chinese Studies. Ed. Tim Wright. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
“The Late Imperial Economy, 960–1895”. In Oxford Bibliographies: Chinese Studies. Ed. Tim Wright. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
“Republican China, 1911–1949”. In Oxford Bibliographies: Chinese Studies. Ed. Tim Wright. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.
(With Professor Ma Junya of Nanjing University), “Sacrificing local interests: Water control policies of the Ming and Qing governments and the local economy of Huaibei, 1495–1949”, Modern Asian Studies, 47.4 (July 2013): 1348-1376.
“A Economia e Politica da China desde 1949”, pp. 353-383 in Sun Lam, ed, A Herança de Confúcio: Dez ensaios sobre a China (Ribeirao: Ediçiõs Húmus, 2013).