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The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China$
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Shenggen Fan, Ravi Kanbur, Shang-Jin Wei, and Xiaobo Zhang

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199678204

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678204.001.0001

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The Great Chinese Famine

The Great Chinese Famine

Chapter:
(p.436) 72 The Great Chinese Famine
Source:
The Oxford Companion to the Economics of China
Author(s):

Douglas Almond

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199678204.003.0073

This chapter discusses China’s Great Famine of 1959–61. The famine killed around 30 million people, making it the worst famine in modern history. The chapter first explains the cause of the famine, that is a breakneck attempt at industrial development encapsulated in Mao’s Great Leap Forward. It then describes the famine’s immediate effects in terms of rising death rates, especially in rural areas. With respect to long-term effects, fertility rates were significantly lowered and there are persistent developmental and health effects that can be observed in survivors fifty years later.

Keywords:   China, Chinese history, mortality, health effects

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