Bijia Chen wins “Best Research Award” from HKUST School of Humanities and Social Science

HKPFS PhD student Bijia Chen won the Research Postgraduate Student “Best Research Award” from the HKUST School of Humanities and Social Science. This award is given annually to a MPhil or PhD student on their basis of their research accomplishments. Bijia had two lead-authored papers in 2018, one on ethnic intermarriage in northeast China in the 19th century published in Demographic Research that won an Editor’s Choice award, and another in 清史研究 on Bannermen in the civil service at the end of the Qing. Congratulations to Bijia!


China Government Employee Database – Qing (CGED-Q) 1900-1912 Jinshenlu records available for download

We have made available a ‘beta’ version of the China Government Employee Database – Qing (CGED-Q) 1900-1912 Jinshenlu public release that includes data and documentation. The release consists of 638,152 records of 50,049 officials (based on our linkage) recorded in 43 quarterly editions. For more details, including links for downloading the data, please visit our CGED-Q Project Page.

The final, formal release will be in October. Until then, we will be updating data and documentation as problems are identified.

2019 Summer Workshop Introducting the 1900-1912 Jinshenlu Public Release

The Lee-Campbell group at HKUST in cooperation with the Institute of Qing History at Renmin University and the Institute of History and Culture at Central China Normal University is organizing a workshop to introduce the first public release from our China Government Employee Database-Qing (CGED-Q) database.

Civil officials according to whether they are Qiren or civilian, and serving in the capital or outside the capital, between 1900 and 1912. Constructed with the CGED-Q.

The initial release will consist of roughly 600,000 records of 60,000 civil officials who were recorded in the quarterly editions of the jinshenlu (缙绅录) between 1900 and 1912. Along with accompanying documentation, it will be available for download in May 2019 at sites at Renmin University and HKUST. In the coming years, the Lee-Campbell group plans to release all of the data, which at present consists of approximately 3.2 million records.

For additional information about the workshop, please see the announcement at the Renmin University Institute for Qing History website.

For an introduction to the CGED-Q, please see this project page at the Lee-Campbell Group website.

Construction and public release of the CGED-Q database has been supported by RGC GRF 16601718 and 16400114.


Liang Chen named a 2019 青年拔尖人才 Outstanding Young Talent

Liang Chen was named a 2019 青年拔尖人才 Outstanding Young Talent.  Outstanding Young Talents are Chinese scholars under the age of 40 from the natural and applied sciences, humanities, social sciences, and creative arts whose academic achievements already demonstrate outstanding creativity and social impact.

The Young Talents program was established in 2012. Approximately 200 Young Talents are named each year according to a rigorous nomination and selection process similar to those for Young Thousand Talents 青年千人 and Young Changjiang Scholars 青年长江 .

Paper on Banner officials in the Qing civil service 1900-1912 published in 清史研究

Our student Bijia Chen’s lead-authored paper on Banner officials in the Qing civil service between 1900 and 1912 recently appeared in 清史研究 (Studies in Qing History). The paper is titled 清末新政前后旗人与宗室官员的官职变化初探——以《缙绅录》数据库为材料的分析 (The Transition of Banner and Imperial Lineage Officials During the Late Qing Reform Period: Evidence from the Qing Jinshenlu Database) and examines how officials who were Bannermen were affected by the reforms and other changes in the New Government period (新政时期). The paper is available for download here:

The paper makes use of the China Government Employee Database-Qing (CGED-Q) which we are constructing from the 缙绅录 and related materials. More detail about this project is available here.

Lee-Campbell group at the Social Science History Association meetings in Phoenix, November 8-11, 2018

Nine members of the Lee-Campbell group will be presenting a total of 10 papers in 9 different sessions at the Social Science History Association meetings in Phoenix, November 8-11, 2018. There will be papers from all of our projects, including Qing civil service careers, Republican higher education and employment, family and social change in mid-20th century China, and historical demography. Three members will be chairing or serving as discussant at sessions.

Thursday, November 08: 02:45 PM-04:45 PM

Session: Educational and Career Trajectories in Comparative Context
Primary Network: Education

Bamboo Ren, Chen Liang, James Lee. Female Tertiary Education in China and Women’s Entry in the Public Sphere 1905-1952.

Session: Inequalities
Primary Network: Economics

Shuang Chen. Institutional and socio-economic determinants of wealth accumulation and dissipation: A case in Northeast China, 1866-1912

Thursday, November 08: 05:00 PM-07:00 PM

Session: Family and Class under State Control: Taxation, Financialization, and Inequality
Primary Network: States and Society

Xiangning Li, Matt Noellert, Cameron Campbell, James Lee. Inequality, Political Mobilization, and Class Re-categorization in the Socialist Education Movement in North China, 1963 -1966 .

Session: Religious Boundaries, Diversity, and Change
Primary Network: Religion
Other Networks: Urban

Ji Li. Catholic Communities and Local Governance in Northeast China before 1949

Friday, November 09: 08:00 AM-10:00 AM

Session: The Making of the Chinese Society
Primary Network: Macro-Historical Dynamics
Other Networks: States and Society

James Lee, Chen Liang, Bamboo Ren. Social and Geographical Origins of University Students in China, 1905-1952.

Friday, November 09: 10:15 AM-12:15 PM

Session: Kinship Beyond the Household: Methodology
Primary Network: Family/Demography

Hao Dong. The Endogenous Shaping of Family Trees by Ancestral Traits: An Empirical Note to Multigenerational Research Methodology.

Saturday, November 10: 08:00 AM-10:00 AM

Session: Administrative and political careers
Primary Network: Economics
Other Networks: Macro-Historical Dynamics, Politic

Bijia Chen, Cameron Campbell, James Lee. Structural Inequality in the Civil Service in Late Imperial China.

Cameron Campbell, Bijia Chen, Heng Hu, James Lee. Careers of Local Officials in the Qing Civil Service.

Saturday, November 10: 10:15 AM-12:15 PM

Session: Kinship Beyond the Household: Spatial mobility and coresidence Primary Network: Family/Demography
Other Networks: Historical Geography and GIS

Matt Noellert, Xianging Li, Cameron Campbell, James Lee. Beyond the Household, the Village, and the Countryside: Kin Networks and Spatial Mobility in Revolutionary China, 1945-1965.

Saturday, November 10: 10:15 AM-12:15 PM

Session: Kinship Beyond the Household: Spatial mobility and coresidence Primary Network: Family/Demography
Other Networks: Historical Geography and GIS

Dong Hao is chair and discussant

Saturday, November 10: 01:00 PM-03:00 PM

Session: Kinship, gender and reproduction (Paper session — Complete)
Primary Network: Family/Demography

Cameron Campbell is chair and discussant.

Saturday, November 10: 03:15 PM-05:15 PM

Session: Kinship Beyond the Household: Adoption and in-law relations
Primary Network: Family/Demography

Satomi Kurosu, Hao Dong. Adoption as a Family Continuity Strategy in Early Modern Japan.

Shuang Chen is the discussant

Paper on interethnic marriage during the Qing designated “Editor’s Choice” by the journal Demographic Research

The paper “Interethnic marriage in Northeast China, 1866-1913” co-authored by current Lee-Campbell group PhD student Bijia Chen, Lee-Campbell group PhD graduate Dong Hao (now an Assistant Professor at Peking University) and Cameron Campbell that was published this year in Demographic Research has been named Editor’s Choice by the journal’s editorial board as one of the best papers published in volume 38. The paper examines patterns of intermarriage between Han and Manchu in a frontier population in northeast China from the mid-19th century to the beginning of the 20th century. It finds that intermarriage between the two groups was not uncommon and also increased over time. The chances of intermarriage depended on village and family context as well as individual socioeconomic and demographic characteristics. The article is available Open Access here:

The complete list of Editor’s Choice papers is available here:

Hao Dong appointed as Assistant Professor at Peking University

We are pleased to report that Lee-Campbell group member and PhD graduate Hao DONG has taken up a position as an Assistant Professor and Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Social Research, Guanghua School of Management, Peking University. Concurrently, he has been selected as a Boya Young Fellow (博雅青年学者). He is the first Boya Young Fellow to be appointed in humanities and social science at Peking University.

Hao plans to continue his comparative research on social inequality and family demography. For his studies, he makes use of such large-scale, longitudinal historical population administrative microdata as the Lee-Campbell group’s China Multigenerational Panel Databases as well as contemporary census and survey data.

Hao has eight peer-reviewed publications in English and four peer-reviewed publications in Chinese. His English-language work has appeared in Demography, Social Science and Medicine, Demographic Research, Evolution and Human Behavior, and IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. His Chinese language work has appeared in 文史哲, 社会学研究, 历史研究, 社会.

Before joining Peking University, Hao was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China and Postdoctoral Affiliate at the Office of Population Research (OPR) and Department of Sociology, Princeton University. As a postdoc at Princeton he was supervised by Yu Xie and they continue to collaborate.

Hao earned his PhD in Social Science at HKUST in 2016, supervised by James Lee with support from Cameron Campbell. While a PhD student at HKUST he was supported by the Hong Kong Postgraduate Fellowship Scheme.

Hao Dong’s website:

Paper on ethnic intermarriage during the Qing by Lee-Campbell Group members

Lee-Campbell group student Bijia Chen, former student Hao Dong and Cameron Campbell recently published a paper in Demographic Research on ethnic intermarriage in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang, during the late Qing:

This paper grew out of Bijia’s MPhil thesis. It uses registered ethnicity of males and inferred ethnicity of wives to examine marriage between Han, Manchu, and others within the Banner populations in Shuangcheng in the late 19th century. Wife’s ethnicity was inferred from her surname. The population is a useful one to study because the Han, Manchu and others who composed it were all part of the Banners, and marriages between them were not subject to rules that forbade or discouraged marriage between Banners and non-Banners. In other words, it is an opportunity to study boundaries between Manchu and Han in a setting where they were not subject to regulations on Banner/non-Banner marriage that would have had the side effect of making Manchu/Han marriage difficult in most other parts of China.

The analysis uses the CMGPD Shuangcheng database, which is available for download from ICPSR:

Lee-Campbell Group at the Social Science History Association meetings in Montreal, November 2017

We will be participating in a number of sessions at the Social Science History Association meetings in Montreal from November 2 to November 4. We have 9 papers on the program presenting new results from three of our projects. Also, there will be an author meets critics session for Shuang Chen’s new book from Stanford University Press State-Sponsored Inequality The Banner System and Social Stratification in Northeast China. James Lee and Cameron Campbell will be panelists on an author meets critics session for Richard von Glahn’s new book Economic History of China from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century.

The abstracts below are the original ones last winter. The papers have evolved somewhat.

Thursday, November 2, 8am-10am

The Other Road to Modernity: Comparative Perspectives on the Socialist Transformation of Agriculture in Eastern Europe and China

Xiangning Li. Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in two North China Towns in the Mid-twentieth Century.

Making use of a novel source of data, China Siqing Social Class Dataset (CSSCD), this paper analyzes the effect of state intervention on occupational structure and intergenerational occupational mobility in two towns, located in Hebei and Shanxi respectively, during the mid-twentieth century. We investigate the effects of a series institutional changes and political campaigns (the Three Antis & Five Antis movements), the collectivization of commercial enterprises, Socialist Education Movement, and others. These took place after 1949 and altered the occupational structure and the labor market in urban society. Town-level cities like the ones we study, with mixed urban-rural populations, represent the lowest level in the official urban administrative hierarchy, and have been largely ignored by previous researchers. Therefore, based on detailed retrospective information on occupation from administrative data from two towns compiled between 1965 and 1966, this paper intends to shed new light on the socialist state and socialist fluidity and between inequality and mobility. First, this paper will characterize some basic feature of the changing occupational structure before and after the founding of PRC, comparing different time periods. Second, mobility table analysis will be used to examine the link between father’™s occupation and son’€™s occupation. By further analyzing the effect of educational attainment on upward mobility, and how the family class labels (for the individual who has rural origins) intervened in the process of inter-generational occupational reproduction, this paper intends to re-assess the openness of the opportunity structure of urban Chinese society during the mid-twentieth century.

Matt Noellert, Long Xing, James Lee. Cleaning up Capitalism in the Chinese Countryside: A Study of 1960s Microdata.

Throughout the process of rural collectivization in the People’s Republic of China, the government repeatedly sought to stem the development of capitalism in Chinese society. This paper examines the results of one of the most systematic attempts to identify and correct “capitalist tendencies” – the social class registers recorded as part of the Four Cleanups campaign in the mid-1960s – to see whether or not government concerns about capitalism were justified. These registers record the detailed social, economic, and political histories of each household over the entire course of collectivization from before communist Land Reform in the 1940s to the People’s Communes in the 1960s. We have currently entered these data for over 15,000 households into a new dataset, the China Siqing Social Class Dataset (CSSCD), and employ a sub-set of the data in this paper. We begin by analyzing changes in the family class background and personal class labels recorded for each adult individual, which suggest that there were significant shifts in social status over the course of collectivization. We then analyze changes in household property to gauge the extent to which classes or individuals were becoming more “capitalist”, in the sense of private accumulation and class differentiation. The results of this Four Cleanups campaign played an important role in shaping the subsequent and more well-known Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution that began in 1966, and this paper provides one of the first systematic studies of rural Chinese society during this transitional period.

Thursday, November 2, 12:30pm-2:30pm

Religious Practice in Historical Perspective

Ji Li. Rethinking Indigenization and Christianity in China: The Development of Catholicism in Northeast China Before 1952. (Li Ji has informed us that she will not be able to attend)

On October 22, 1951, Bishop André-Jean Vérineux, a missionary from the Mission Étrangères de Paris (MEP) and the last vicar apostolic of the Catholic Manchuria Mission, disembarked in Hong Kong. Together with five other missionaries, Vérineux and his colleagues were the last cohort of Catholic missionaries expelled from Shenyang, northeast China. Until then, the Catholic Church has been established in northeast China for more than a century since 1838 when Emmanuel-Jean-François Vérrolles became the first vicar apostolic of the newly founded Manchuria-Mongolia Mission. Based on my ten-year work on the development of Catholicism in northeast China before 1950s, this paper re-examines one of the key issues in the history of Christianity in China, namely, indigenization in terms of acculturation. It asks how to define indigenization in different historical periods and what indigenization means in different political contexts. Scholars of the field have argued that in the past four centuries, Christianity has in fact become an indigenous and resilient Chinese religion. However, other scholars, including myself, began to demonstrate that the nineteenth century has in fact witnessed the systematic development of a global Catholic Church in China. Relying on church records and missionary writings, this paper investigates the century-long development of Catholicism in northeast China and the creation and persistence of Catholic identity in a particular Catholic community. It argues that since the nineteenth century, the local religious identity was created, expressed, and persisted through institutionalized Catholic ritual performance; Christianity was indigenized in China essentially through the introduction of a globalized Catholic Church in the modern era.

Thursday, November 2, 2:45pm-4:45pm

Tertiary Education in Republican China
Chen Liang, James Lee. National, Regional and Local Student Enrollment in Seven National Universities in Republican China.
In Republican China, national, private and missionary universities shared distinct features in terms of student’s€™ social and spatial origins. Among national universities, there are national universities that recruit students nationwide, €œregional€ universities that recruit students in the adjacent provinces, and €œlocal universities that mainly recruit local students. This paper uses self-reported student registration cards to explore the similarities and differences among 567000 students from 8 national universities including: National Jiaotong University, National Chi Nan University, National Chekiang University, National Tsinghua University, National Peking University Medical School, National Hunan University, National Sun Yat-sen University and National Zhongzheng University. We find that even national universities tended to recruit largely local students, and the only exception is National Tsinghua University, which is the most prestigious national university in Republican China. The preliminary findings contribute to our understanding of social inequality and access to higher education in early and mid 20th century China.

Yunzhu Ren, Chen Liang, James Lee.  Tertiary Education in Republican China: Comparing Professional and non-Professional Students in 27 Republican Chinese Universities

With the systematic introduction of Western university education to China beginning from 1898 onwards, Republican Chinese universities were divided by such disciplinary majors as arts, science, engineering, medicine, business and law. This paper uses self-reported student registration cards to explore the differences in family background of over 110000 students from China University Student Dataset-Republic of China (CUSD-ROC), contrasting liberal arts majors (humanities and science) and professional majors (engineering, medicine, business and law). This paper also investigates the relationship between parental occupation and students’ choice of major, especially those from professional and business families. We find that students from merchants families predominate for most majors except for those in medical school, and that there is a strong relation between merchants’ families and business majors, as well as professional families and medical majors. The results shed light on the transitions from traditional learning to more practical and professional education and trends in intergenerational mobility in Republican China.

Chen Liang, Yuqian Wang, Yunzhu Ren, James Lee. Social and Geographical Origins of University Students in Republican Shanghai.

In Republican China, there were more universities in Shanghai than any other Chinese city. This paper uses self-reported student registration cards to explore the socioeconomic, geographic and high school origins of 35,000 undergraduates from 8 of these universities including: National Jiaotong University (1913-49)、Soochow University Law School (1918-52), Saint John’s University(1919-52), National Shanghai Institute of Business(1921-45), Utopia University (1930-52), National Chi Nan University(1933, 37, 40-49), the University of Shanghai (1936-52), and the Municipal Shanghai Institute of Industry (1945-56). We show that in spite of Shanghai’s reputation as an open city of opportunity, access to higher education was highly restricted, comparing students by university, major, gender, parental occupation, neighborhood, place of origin, high school, and in some cases religion and guarantor. We provide, in other words, a much more granular understanding of higher education and educated society in Republican China and Republican Shanghai in particular which we can compare in the future to other cities and other periods of Chinese history.

Thursday, November 2, 5pm-7pm

Careers and Migration in Europe and Asia

Cameron Campbell, Bijia Chen, Yuxue Ren, James Lee. Government employees in Qing China: career trajectories and geographic mobility, 1760-1911.

We will examine the interplay of geographic mobility and career trajectories among government employees in Qing China between 1760-1911. For geographic mobility, we will focus on circulation between posts in the central government in Beijing and posts in provinces and counties. We will examine how the characteristics of government employees shaped their chances of having an initial post in the central government in Beijing or out in the provinces or counties, and then how the location of initial and later posts interacted with employee characteristics to shape subsequent career trajectories. For this analysis, we will make use of a database of Qing government employees based on rosters published every three months until the end of the dynasty in 1911. Each roster lists between 13,000 and 15,000 officials. We currently have more than 1,054,657 records of 216,644 officials from 78 rosters, and anticipate having 1,800,000 on hand by November. While most of the rosters we have entered so far, by November we will also have rosters of military officials, and they will be incorporated into the analysis.

Lawrence Zhang, Bijia Chen, Cameron Campbell, James Lee. Ladders of Success in Late Imperial China: Careers of Office Purchasers and Exam Qualifiers in the Qing Civil Service.

The often-used phrase “€œLadder of Success” describes the path for individuals during late imperial China to first pass through the civil service examination system and then become an official. However, what happened to these individuals who actually entered the civil service? Moreover, how did they fare against other kinds of new entrants in the civil service, especially those who purchased their positions in government? Using newly digitized data from the quarterly published jinshenlu, which are lists of concurrently serving officials in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) civil service, this paper seeks to compare the career trajectories of individuals who entered the civil service through the examination system with those who entered through purchase. By linking the jinshenlu data with lists of individuals who earned their examination degrees and those who bought their positions, it will show the differences in career patterns for these two groups of individuals who had different claims to office. Significantly, the additional information available in the list of buyers and the examination degree holders yields important information about the background of these individuals, and yields more granular analysis of the socioeconomic background of sub-groups of officials who may have had particular successes in the civil service. Preliminary results from this research show that the pathway to office, especially higher level office, was far more complex and multivariate than the literature commonly assumes. Success in the civil service examination was the end of one ladder, but it was only the beginning of another.

Friday, November 3, 8am-10am

Author meets critics: State-Sponsored Inequality: The Banner System and Social Stratification, by Shuang Chen

This book explores the social economic processes of inequality in nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century rural China. Drawing on uniquely rich source materials, Shuang Chen provides a comprehensive view of the creation of a social hierarchy wherein the state classified immigrants to the Chinese county of Shuangcheng into distinct categories, each associated with different land entitlements. The resulting patterns of wealth stratification and social hierarchy were then simultaneously challenged and reinforced by local people. The tensions built into the unequal land entitlements shaped the identities of immigrant groups, and this social hierarchy persisted even after the institution of unequal state entitlements was removed. State-Sponsored Inequality offers an in-depth understanding of the key factors that contribute to social stratification in agrarian societies. Moreover, it sheds light on the many parallels between the stratification system in nineteenth-century Shuangcheng and structural inequality in contemporary China.

For more information about the book, see the page at Stanford University Press:

Friday, November 3, 10:15am-12:15pm

Assortative Mating and Legislative Effects on Marriage Patterns

Long Xing, Cameron Campbell, Matt Noellert, Xiangning Li, James Lee. Education, Class and Marriage in Rural Shanxi, China in the Mid-Twentieth Century.

This paper examines the consequences of political, economic and social change in mid-twentieth century China for patterns of assortative mating by both education and class. Traditionally in China, marriages were arranged by parents, and ideally matched families of similar socioeconomic status. However, the first law of the People’s Republic of China was a new marriage law, passed in 1950, which promoted free choice and forbade arranged marriages and other interference by families in the marriage decisions of their children. We investigate the effects of this law and other changes on assortative mating in China by using novel administrative data compiled in rural Shanxi Province in North China in the mid-1960s, which records both the education and family class background of spouses. Our findings that patterns of assortative mating differed according to whether status was measured with class label or education complicate current pictures of assortative mating that rely solely on educational attainment. Furthermore, in comparing marriages before and after the 1949/50 divide, we also find that educational homogamy and female hypergamy increased in intensity, as did class homogamy.

Saturday, November 4, 3:15pm-5:15pm

James Lee and Cameron Campbell will be panelists in the author meets critics session for Economic History of China from Antiquity to the Nineteenth Century, by Richard von Glahn.