'In this lucid and thought-provoking study, Taisu Zhang creatively and empirically reinterprets the causal relationships among cultural norms, property institutions, and socioeconomic behavior in early modern China and England. This holds profound implications for the study of global economic history, Sino-Western comparison, and Chinese law and society. This important book will not fail to stimulate new inquiries and debates for many years to come.'
Li Chen - University of Toronto, author of Chinese Law in Imperial Eyes and President of the International Society for Chinese Law and History
'Marrying cutting-edge historical archival work with remarkable cross-disciplinary theoretical breadth, Taisu Zhang boldly and brilliantly raises vitally important questions about the interplay of culture, law, and economic institutions in pre-industrial China and England. Anyone interested in global economic history or in today’s China will want to engage this powerful but inviting book.'
William P. Alford - Henry L. Stimson Professor of Law, Harvard Law School, Massachusetts
'Taisu Zhang has taken a bold leap into the heart of the Great Divergence debate. Combining the theoretical tools of law and economics, the insights of a comparative legal historian, and the skills of a meticulous archival investigator, Zhang offers a new take on norms governing land alienation in early modern China and England and their impact on economic development.'
Madeleine Zelin - Dean Lung Professor of Chinese Studies, Columbia University, New York